Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Right to be a Masochist

I saw an ad for a gym that says they roll out the red carpet for cripples. They say their staff will pay special attention to any cripple that asks. They will help cripples who sign up with their gym develop a regular workout routine which will in turn help the cripple overcome feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation.

Well I guess it’s mighty nice of whoever runs that gym to try to make cripples feel welcome like that. But no thanks. In fact, I’m sorry to say it has the opposite effect on me. If I was looking to sign up with a gym, after seeing that ad I would definitely avoid that one.

First off, it’s pretty much a moot point because am not now nor have I ever been a “workout” type of guy. I don’t get it. It seems masochistic to get a big rush out of doing a bunch of pushups. I thought doing pushups was supposed to be punishment. If you piss off your drill sergeant he tells you to go do a thousand pushups. Maybe doing pushups makes you feel good about yourself in the same way you feel good about yourself when you eat fresh fruit for breakfast instead of cold pizza. What you really feel is the satisfaction of not feeling guilty. Maybe for some people pleasure is defined as the absence of guilt.

And if I was looking for an antidote for anxiety, depression and isolation, I sure wouldn’t go to a gym. I’d probably go to an orgy or something.

But let’s say, just for the sake of giving me something to write about, that there was a massive explosion somewhere in a distant galaxy that rearranged all matter in the universe so radically that I might conceivably develop a vague inkling to sign up with a gym. I would still stay away from that gym that’s so eagerly courting cripples for fear of feeling too welcome. I’d be afraid that the minute I rolled in I’d be swarmed over by unctuous trainers bent on helping me overcome my feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation. I mean of course I feel anxious, depressed and isolated sometimes. Who the hell doesn’t? But it’s not just because I’m crippled. It’s not like if I was suddenly cured I wouldn’t feel any of those things anymore. Every single uncrippled person finds plenty that makes them feel anxious, depressed and isolated. But when they come into a gym, nobody thinks they're duty-bound to help them overcome all that.

I would want to just get in, quietly torture myself in peace and get out, just like everybody else at the gym. Cripples can be masochists, too, you know.

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