By Jolie Wasserman
Volume 69, Issue I
During this fall sports season, Briarcliff High School seniors who cannot bend it like Beckham nor have experienced sufficient severe head trauma to be crazy enough to play football elect the senior alternative. In layman’s terms, the senior alternative is a sly way of getting out of gym class by either going to a gym or having a thumb workout from playing video games.
Many underclassmen have become curious about what actually goes down at one of the seniors’ favorite haunts, Club Fit. I asked a senior who I’ll call Johnny, to protect his anonymity so he can still get a date to the Senior Prom, about his typical day at the gym.
Johnny has cut an escape early deal with his 8th period teacher. In exchange for a daily helping of his mother’s famous assorted pastries, Johnny is allowed to leave five minutes early to avoid the 2:18 rush. This scandal became more intriguing by the second. Johnny agreed for me to come to Club Fit with him on a ride-along.
Upon entering the Club Fit parking lot, we encountered the first obstacle to achieving Johnny’s workout: finding a parking spot. After circling an endless sea of vehicles four times, he homed in on a car starting to back out. Johnny stopped his car and politely waited for the spot to empty. As he began his measured approach, an oncoming SUV the size of Montana floored it and zoomed into the spot almost decapitating his front bumper. Johnny observed, “never get in between a young mom and her spin class. The smaller the lady, the bigger the car.”
We separated ways to change into our workout attire. When Johnny emerged from the men’s locker room, he was as pale as a ghost. “Man”, he exclaimed, “there should be a law against taking off your clothes in the locker room. It’s amazing what the law of gravity can do to old men!”
He had changed from his preppy clothes into his newest Vineyard Vines bathing suit and sunglasses. According to Johnny, “You never know when you could run into a hot girl in this place. I always have to be on my toes.”
To his dismay, when we arrived at the swimming pool, the toddler swim class was disbanding. “Oh crap, I know how my little brother used to make a bathtub into a nuclear waste repository, I’m not stepping foot in that water.”
Johnny then transformed into his basketball attire, and we headed over to the gym. The first court was occupied by 6’8” basketball behemoths. “Not my style,” proclaimed Johnny. However, the next court was filled with a troop of 5th grade Girl Scouts who were in need of a tenth player. Johnny obliged and put on a green jersey, as he stepped onto the court to defend a 4’11” girl and his dignity. On the first play, Johnny tried to stay close to his opponent as she stealthily weaved around the perimeter in her offensive zone. When she cut to the basket, he followed suit. Unbeknownst to him, a sneaky little Brownie had planted her feet firmly behind him and held fast as he plowed into her. Johnny dropped to the ground like a felled tree. He de-planted his nose from the hardwood, walked off the court while muttering “Those little brats, they take this game too seriously.”
Johnny’s final attempt to have an accomplished afternoon at the gym was in the form of pumping iron. Johnny was making his way to the weights when a yoga class flyer came gliding off the wall and sliced through his finger. After returning from First Aid with a Batman Band-Aid adorning his finger, he said “I need a drink.”
We made our way to the café and joined the line. As each customer ordered smoothies, the requests had progressively healthier sounding names: Bodacious Banana, Spinach Sizzler, Kale Cleanser; one after another ordered kale, spinach, and banana smoothies. When it got to Johnny’s turn, he unabashedly ordered a Briarcliff Bulldozer with extra fudge, some concoction replete with chocolate, M&M’s and every other candy under the sun. As he lathered his face in delight, he said, “Now that is what I call a productive day.” I asked about the 1,500 calories he was about to consume, and he noted, “That’s okay, I’ll be working out here again tomorrow.”