Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Gold's Gym is in Venice Beach.
That's where the work of bodybuilding is done.
Culver City however, is where the work of bodybuilding is rewarded.
Last week the MuscleHead Association of America, or whatever the official name is, held one of their two bi-annual award shows at the Veteran's Center, 3 blocks from my house.
This year's end-of-summer Muscle-Polluza was bigger than ever.
The contestants, all hairless and all wearing Speedos, spilled out the back of the staging area. It looked like the set of a gladiator movie.
There was primping.
And all manner of oiling.
If somebody had lit a match there would have been an inferno the likes of which we haven't seen since the Hindenburg.
"Oh the well-muscled, steroid-enhanced humanity!"
And while there were hundreds of contestants at the back of the auditorium, there were thousands of spectators waiting to shell out their hard-earned money in the front. The line snaked down Overland Ave. Past the Tubs Chili restaurant, where you can get a bowl of Grade A sirloin and fat-free kidney and pinto beans. Mmmmm, protein.
This got my wife and I, on the way to a movie, talking. Who goes to these shows?
I've been lifting weights, on and off, ever since I was 15 years old. Never with much success. And some years, more intently than others. During my twenties, when I was determined to get my weight below 175, I was lifting everyday, alternating body parts. I also had a Walter White worthy collection of protein supplements including, ornithine, creatine, arginine, and lysine.
The point is, I can see how one could get obsessed with building muscle.
What I can't see is getting obsessed with other people building their muscles.
And I was left to wonder if people exiting a muscle show have similar discussions to people exiting a movie theater?
"Those were some excellent glutes we saw tonight."
"How about those deltoids? I haven't seen deltoid work like that since Ferrigno in 2005."
"I'll be thinking about those lats all night long."
"Do you want to get some pie?"