Finishing his last set of lateral raises, my alter ego studies the reflection in the mirror. The body in which he lives is no longer round and fluffy, but hardened around the edges with some softness left in the middle. He is built like a brick wall with fresh mortar, and the sweat-shaded shirt harnesses swollen shoulder, arm, and chest muscles. Judging by the weight and overall wetness of his t-shirt, it is safe to say that today’s workout was a success, and the urge to flirt is burning wildly under the freshly worked out muscles. All bets are off at a smaller gym, because eyes have no choice but to wander, and I’m one to give a show if I catch you looking. My shorts are already pretty short – because I hate basketball shorts – my shirts grow tighter in all the right places as the weeks pass, and I make sure my form is on point. This voyeuristic trait really only comes to life when I’m in the gym, and I like to think it makes me dig deeper in achieving a better workout. Whether you like it or not, you will gain inspiration from watching another participant, or you’ll unconsciously lust after them; wanting their body for yourself. Snapping out of my temporary trance, I put away the dumbbells, wipe off the bench, and make my way toward the locker room. “Oh, I’m sorry!” I bump shoulders with another lifter, and the urge is reawakened. “Get the hell out of here” I think to myself, doing everything I can to will away the thirst of my alter ego’s sweet and sour thoughts. If this internal battle weren’t already enough, running smack into my office crush – making chest to chest contact – on my way into the locker room was the icing on this mess of a cake. “Hey man! Looks like you got a good workout in today, eh?” Why is he so nice? He’s always so nice. Get me the hell out of here.
When one is single, working out and staying in shape is important for the wrong reasons. Most will say that it’s for their health and wellness, and mask the fact that they’re sweating it out to better their chances of hooking up come time to play the field. I recognize that there are people who take their health and fitness seriously, but during the partying years?.. Let’s be real, everyone has ass on the mind. If not for health and wellness, does the reason for exercise change when you land that special someone?
Something happens when you become one with another; at least it did for me. Before S, I was a heavier guy, and legitimately began working out and dieting to add years to my life. Now that I’m married, I find myself working harder than I had before on my health and overall fitness. My reason for working out, in addition to general health, is to maintain my attractiveness for my husband. I get off knowing that I look good, and even more so when I know it’s for him and our relationship. Hey now, I work out for me too! I love working out in the morning, and gain so much energy going into my day. I even workout on weekends to keep my energy on the up and up.
I’ve come a long way from refusing to run in gym class back in high school, to doing cardio, yoga, and strength training five to six times a week. S has gone through his own fitness transformation as well, but doesn’t possess the cocky confidence that I do. Even when I was a bigger guy – pushing three hundred pounds – I could work with what I had and still pursued guys without hesitation. I love when I catch guys eyeing my husband, and how he doesn’t even notice. What I love more is when other, thirsty, guys realize what they have to get through before they can get to S.
I find it entertaining that even after you’ve entered a serious relationship, you still have to maintain what you had once worked so hard to obtain, to keep your prize. By no means am I saying that you need to be in shape to keep a partner. We share numerous cheat days and battle the scale together now – after falling off our low carb wagon here and there – and gain great pleasure when we notice changes in each other physically. Earlier I said that working out, as a single partier type, was done for the wrong reasons. When it comes down to it, maybe working out (then) for the approval and validation of others is just practice… We say we do it for ourselves, to make ourselves feel better, but eventually all that nonsense, worry, and stress turns into the very elixir that provides us the power to keep a comfortable grip on what we’ve achieved.