In the gym?


Why are there so many men in the gym? At 8 o’clock on week mornings.

Especially “middle-aged men”. By this, I mean men between the ages of 30 and 50, who, at that time of the morning, you’d expect to be at work already. Most of them are on their own mission and focused – if they are not in the spinning studio, they are sweating on the treadmill, swimming laps in their Speedo’s or lifting weights in front of the huge, polished mirrors. These are not men on a weeks’ holiday or on a mere business trip, they are regulars who stick to routines. Same faces, same times.

They have to make a good living, to afford the monthly gym fees and of course the Prado’s, Ford bakkies or two door Mercedes’ they climb into after their workout. (OK, OK, walking on the treadmill is boring and I can see the car park from the first floor of the gym. I am not a stalker, I promise! )  So I often walk and wonder, what careers these men must have, allowing them to be at the gym at these unusual hours.

I can imagine the Ford bakkie driver being a builder. He needs the open back for transporting tools and cement mixers and emergency patio tiles. The double cab space for driving his mates to Loftus over weekends, or for when he picks up the kids from school at lunchtime. And a bakkie comes in handy for those Waterberg hunting expeditions in winter.

The Prado drivers? Let’s think…. Game farm owners? Toyota salesmen? Or provincial rugby players. Brokers – they like their off roaders, don’t they?  The Prado drivers also love the outdoors – an awesome vehicle to launch a boat with.  A farmer- could he be?  And in the state that some of our roads are in, if he travels to towns like Potchefstroom or Bethlehem, he needs a solid car.  He could be an insurance salesman or a rep.  A professional wildlife photographer also needs a reliable 4×4 – needing to drive through rivers and over rocks to get that perfect shot.  And a Prado has more than enough space for all his lenses, battery packs, tripods, etc.

The two door Merc drivers seem to fall in the slightly older age category. They have grown-up kids or no kids, because let’s be honest, kids and two door cars are a major mismatch. No Dad wants his two door’s bumper paint scratched by the metal buckles of a heavy school bag. And they certainly don’t want Simba chips crumbs or red Energade droplets all over the backseat. No way will Mr Two Door Merc cover his leather back seats with seat covers – even if they are custom made. (Let’s face it, I would not either.) An estate agent is one of my favourite guesses. These days, estate agents meet their prospective clients at the property or on a Sunday show day. No more driving your client around, so very little chance of the client messing up the mats with muddy soles or tearing the upholstery with a handbag zipper. My other guesses would be an entrepreneur who owns a boutique hotel, purely because I know of one. Or a retired footballer turned coach, again, because I know of one. Drug dealers….? It is a show-off “industry” after all.  And what could be more beautiful and eye-catching than a C-class Coupé….?

Somewhere in the mix, there surely has to be at least one house husband/stay-at-home-dad. Who has a job-hobby on the side, just to keep the morning hours ticking until he needs to do the extra mural run-around. His morning job-hobby being a programmer or psychiatrist or artist or bookkeeper. And naturally he has to be quite a confident, secure individual who is not threatened by the fact that his job-hobby is for pocket money. That his other half most likely has the high flying career which pays the private school fees, extra murals, island holidays, garden service, etc.

So what do you think? Am I spot-on with my over active imagination or completely off target?