Wednesday, 18 July 2007

To gym or not to gym

Apparently, one of the many advantages of getting older is that physical looks become less important. In place of toned abs and shoulders that are broader than one’s waist comes wisdom, wit and intellect. It seems that middle age should be the place where what’s inside really does count for more than what’s on the outside.

Piffle. Absolute piffle. Or at least that’s my conclusion based on a random sample of people at my local gym.

When I made the odd foray to the gym during my late twenties, it was full of people my age, each trying to lift more weights than each other. Ten years on and it’s still full of people like me still trying to out-lift each other. The point is that the gym is the preserve of late-thirty and forty year-olds rather than those in their twenties.

The depressing thing about this is that we all seem to have reached the same conclusion: simply letting nature take its course is not an option. With the job market remaining super competitive and all of us in fear of someone younger (and no doubt better looking) replacing us, staying as fit as possible is the depressing truth. Which explains why the average age of gyms seems to be on the rise.

It’s alright for those in their twenties, after all they still have an active metabolism. I, on the other hand, have the knowledge that it takes longer to get fit and loose weight than when I was younger but perversely only takes half the time to become a porker again.

So, what about wit, intellect and wisdom? Try this experiment if you really want to see how valued they are: 1) find a bar with a high percentage of single women; 2) approach one of them; 3) if she hasn’t pissed her self laughing or called you a dirty old man, start a conversation; 4) ask her about her views on neoclassical endogenous economics and see her first look blank, then panic and then turn on her high heels and march back to her mates. Simply put, it’s not about what’s up top.

And sadly, the same applies to the workplace too

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