FITNESS AND FRAPATHINGIES. How gourmet coffee and television combine to form a unique experience at the gym.

DISCLAIMER:  I’m probably going to offend a handful of the folks who are reading this blog.  I probably should plea for forgiveness or ask that you not take offense, but that really wouldn’t come across as genuine or honest in the context of this post.  This is the Internet, after all, and the least we can ask from anyone using the medium is to be genuine and honest.  Or something like that. 

Anyways, I’ve been a member of the local gym for a couple of years.  It’s a pretty basic place, and it therefore doesn’t have the most advanced cardiovascular equipment.  These machines get the job done, but there really isn’t anything luxurious or extravagant about actually getting the job done.  That’s fine, and doesn’t seem to keep your typical gymrat from getting in shape, killing a bit of stress or just posing in front of the mirror.

The gym does, however, have a handful of community televisions hanging from the rafters.  These little miracles of modern technology are typically tuned to some type of sporting event, a national news network or a bad movie featuring a washed-up cast that’s shown on a irrelevant cable network.  It’s not a terrible deal, and there’s something to be said about combining exhaustion and exercise with a bit of spoonfed entertainment.

Now, however, a new breed of weekend warriors have recent invaded this domain and claimed the community televisions as their bounty.    They come dressed in sparkly new fitness uniforms and are typically armed a frapathingie from the local coffee shop.  They tend to lumber on over to the nearest elliptical or treadmill, prepared to stroll the morning away and do everything they can to avoid spilling their frapathingies and getting sweat on their sparkly new fitness uniforms.

And, of course, they regularly change the channels on the community television.  Gone are the days of sporting events, national news and bad movies.  Now we’re treated to programming that focuses on iced cupcakes, lavish pies, thick sauces, and a heck of a lot of sugar and sodium.

That’s right: everyone else is now watching the Food Network.  The freakin’ Food Network.

Now, I’ve got nothing against the Food Network.  A lot of people obviously love its programming.  It’s not my first choice for spoonfed entertainment, but it probably ranks somewhere between late-night infomercials and the black and white grainy snow that used to flow from rabbit ears and coat hangers before we were introduced to the wonders of cable television.  Not great, but certainly not a disaster.

But really… the Food Network?  An entire channel that’s mostly dedicated to providing a first-hand account of the rise of obesity and related diseases?  An entire channel that focuses on a lifestyle that has caused many folks to truly need to come to the gym to reduce significant risks to their own health or, in more extreme cases, even save their own lives?  Is this the environment that we want to foster at the gym?   Apparently so.

Anyways, that’s my rant for the day.  I’d write more, but I’ve probably spent too long picking on these folks and it’s just about time to retrieve my double-chocolate triple-fudge iced cheesecake from the oven.

8 responses to “FITNESS AND FRAPATHINGIES. How gourmet coffee and television combine to form a unique experience at the gym.

  1. Conor Bofin November 26, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I love the post. I am a committed gym goer and a committed cook. I do one so I can do the other and still stay sharp and focussed. For me, it is impossible to take it to the limit in the gym (whatever the limit is for you) while drinking a coffee and watching food TV. Bizarre. Speaking from experience of the ‘newbies’ in my gym, these wimps will not last the course. They are a temporary problem.
    Best,
    Conor

  2. Tom Baker November 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    You didn’t offend me and I love the Food Network. To each his/her own!

  3. solutiondown November 27, 2011 at 9:24 am

    For what it’s worth, I don’t have anything against the Food Network or the folks that like to tune in while at the gym. Heck, they’re actually at the gym, which is more than can be said for a lot of people that should consider some type of exercise program.

    It’s just that it’s all about context. Yesterday, for example, I was forty minutes into a cardio routine when the channel flipped to a program that featured a random guy doing everything he could to eat a seventy-two ounce piece of meat. Along with side dishes. And bread.

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