Sage Advice | The Gymnasium

Sage Advice | The Gymnasium

“It is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of citizen you may become by developing your strength and beauty to their highest limit.”

- Socrates


This question comes from a loyal reader: “Dear Sage Advice, gyms in Dunedin... good or not good?” Thanks for another great question. This week I have been in contact with a local fitness guru, and learned some good knowledge about the protein scene in Dunedin. If the body is a temple, then he is surely a high priest. He wishes to remain anonymous, but I can reveal he hails from the lovely suburb of Pine Hill...

“For reasons I can’t go into, I am no longer welcome at the Unipol Recreation Centre. I have a strong aversion for the place now, and all gyms frankly. Oh, how I hate them. But I suppose they serve their purposes. For one, they are good at keeping strong people’s muscles occupied (instead of being used to bully me). The way I see it, big muscles only have one function – and that is to inflict pain upon my body, which is very petite. This has happened too many times to count, and so I have developed this useful phrase that I use whenever I feel threatened by a musclebound lad or lass: “Please sir, don’t kick my ass.” And it has proved very effective, because they will usually laugh and only kick my ass a little bit. How I despise the muscled. But, oh twisted fates, how I love the physical form of female bodybuilders! I enjoy the look of ladies who seriously use/abuse huge amounts of steroids, it looks good to me. I lost my Big Binder of Female Bodybuilder Cut-Outs in the botanic gardens, but was too nervous to go to lost and found. It was labelled ‘Work’, so no one opened it, probably, but I still didn’t want to risk it. I have since re-compiled a substantial collection, but the Big Binder is still unsurpassed, and so I bid good fortune to its new owner. Good day!

There is an underground exercise club at Dunedin Waste Management, out by the stadium. I go there sometimes and we lift those big car axles on a rusty metal pole and it is very badass. This is very different than any other gym, because the gym is quite a distasteful, immodest place. Physical exercise should only be done in private. We call ourselves ‘The Dump Boys’ (but there are girls too), and we meet there most days after dark, but you have to be a member. There is an initiation ritual you must go through which I can’t detail for legal reasons, but rest assured it is very unpleasant – and nowhere near worth it just to be part of ‘The Dump Boys’ (there are girls too), but I’d recommend it all the same.

My least favourite aspect of the fitness industry is the use of supplements – little pills made out of shitty corn or something, which you eat to make your pee smell like rotten meat. I once succumbed to peer pressure and ate a little supplement pill that was given to me. I tell you what, it had me so pepped up that I watched like 12 parkour videos online and then hightailed it straight to the KFC carpark to try out some moves. After a while people started throwing Popcorn ChickenTM at me through their sunroof and I was diving like motherfucking Free Willy and catching those shits in my damn mouth, mid-air, and landing karate-style on the asphalt. I had so much energy; I was commando rolling over the curbs and bushes, protecting my bucket from invisible enemies. “What is this power?!” I shrieked, “Ah! Ahh! I will level the necks of my enemies, I swear it!” This was the new way to live. When I returned home, I looked at the bottle that the supplement came from, and saw, to my dismay, that it was only a vitamin C capsule. I then realised that my ribs and hand bones were all broken. Such is the power of the placebo, and the mind: the most elusive muscle of all. I still remember a time when instead of ‘big gains’, people would wish for ‘big brains’. Regrettable.”

This article first appeared in Issue 17, 2017.
Posted 1:26pm Sunday 30th July 2017 by Mat Clarkson.