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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Husky Exercise Fashion - The Skinny

I saw the bicycle-riding equivalent of the man at left today on my way home from work, only wearing an undersized, aerodynamic bicycle helmet as well. We were both sitting at a traffic light in the Arizona heat - me sweating in my non-air-conditioned car, he sweating, red-faced and huffing and puffing atop a racing bicycle, waiting for the light to change.

I glanced out my passenger-side window - which was lowered to create maximum 106-degree air-flow - and visibly flinched. This man's ass was engulfing what I presumed was a seat on his European-style racing bike like it was a tasty ass-bon-bon and the state-of-the-art, lightweight, NASA-approved racing-yellow frame of the contraption looked as if it were about to collapse under the weight of this behemoth. I can only wonder what kind of space-age materials and wondrous math calculations devised the razor-thin racing tires that still appeared to hold air under the strain.

It was a hideous sight.

I mean, God bless the man for trying to get a workout in - heaven knows every Goliathan crank of the pedals equaled, conversely, the exact amount of exercise that I was not getting - but for the love of Pete, man, cover that shit up. As a husky fellow myself, I will tell you right now that the only way you could ever talk me into shoehorning myself into a skin-hugging, log-adorned spandex body suit would be if it was fire-retardant and the only material this side of a spacesuit that might possibly save my life as I was marched to the mouth of a live volcano for my reckoning. In fact, given my choice, I would most likely opt for the not-so-flattering spacesuit as I plunged into the bubbling magma.

The man glanced over at me at the light and nodded. I nodded back. "Afternoon," I said. "Hi," he wheezed. "So," I began, gesturing at his costume. "No second thoughts on that one?"

"What do you mean?" he gasped.

"The outfit - the spandex. At some point you figured that was a good idea - really?"

"What do you mean?" he repeated. I began to think he was having a heat stroke. Perhaps had already had some - that might explain his uniform - maybe his decision-making abilities had been compromised.

The light turned green. "I mean, Godspeed, good fellow..." I waved and hit the gas. The oppressive air began to swirl around me. I shook my head and tried my best to clear the vision from my mind, even as his little helmet bobbed in my rear view mirror and the bicycle resumed its own journey to an eventual, possibly fatal, catastrophic breakdown.

I wondered what possible reasoning in what twisted alternative universe by what insane clown posse could have persuaded this man to don this outfit and climb aboard a racing bicycle and venture out onto the public thoroughfare. There is not a physicist on the face of the earth that could possibly convince me that wearing spandex is going to make one sweaty stitch of difference when trying to propel 300 pounds of blubber down the street on a bicycle. First of all, there is no possible way that Mr. Arbuckle is going to generate enough speed to create drag - no way. Secondly, even if drag were a remote possibility, what kind of land-speed record is Speed Racer trying to break that he needs to concern himself with such trifles as spandex.

The only other possibilities might include a man-crush on Lance Armstrong or a passive-aggressive cry for negative attention. Either way, I decided I was not a fan. There are only a few things of which I am certain: Mustard, consciously or not was made for hot dogs, any action has an equal and opposite reaction and I am allergic to Sulfa. Other than that, everything is up for debate. Except this. We big people should not wear spandex. Not under any circumstances. A nice running suit or even some shorts and a baggy t-shirt are suitable alternatives that will not offend passersby, who have every right to walk, trot or drive down the street without seeing 300 pounds of jiggling spandex plodding down the street. It's only fair. There are all sorts of workout wear out there perfectly capable of allowing all of us to exercise in comfort, so let's re-think the skin-tight thing, for the good of all. Lives could be saved and the world might reclaim a tiny little piece of its eroding sanity.

Common sense is key here - dress for comfort and in the sportswear that will allow for maximum movement. And do not under any circumstances dress in front of a circus mirror - they lie.

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