Sep 21, 2013

Fall 1977: My Workout Buddy and the Deplorable Word

I love weight training.  I would love it even if weight rooms weren't crowded with guys with spectacular physiques.

No hurling projectiles, no complicated scoring, no spectators stomping "We Will Rock You," just the clack of barbells in the early morning light.  Zen-like in its simplicity.

I discovered the weight room at Washington Junior High, when I went out for wrestling    and the Jump Quiz. At Rocky High, when I was working as an athletic trainer, I hung out in the weight room during practices.

But it was hard to find a regular workout buddy.  I wouldn't work out with someone I was dating, so Verne the preacher's son was out.

Darry would go nowhere near a gym; he insisted that "Girls don't care about muscles; it's what's beneath the belt that counts."

Aaron, the rabbi's son who didn't know he was gay, joined me a few times, but working out with him was embarrassing: he kept staring at guys' muscles -- and my crotch.  I had to keep telling him "Look up here!"

In my senior year, I finally found a regular workout buddy: a sophomore, my brother's age, but taller than me, with broader shoulders and bigger biceps.  To the surprise and perhaps the dismay of my lunchtime crowd, he was Black.

The rest of the story is on Tales of West Hollywood

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