Apr 19, 2017

Beefcake Alert: Shirts vs. Skins Basketball in the Campus Gym

Since time immemorial, I've run at 2:00 pm Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  Three or four miles outside in the summer, sometimes five, and in the winter, a quick three miles plus warmup on a treadmill in the campus gym, plugged into Bob's Burgers or Judge Judy

But lately I've been going at 4:00 or later, and skipping the treadmill to run around the indoor track, so I can look down and see the show. 

Basketball, either intramural or recreational, down on the gym floor.  

I'm not at all interested in basketball, but I'm very interested in ten guys running around on the floor, five of them shirtless, their chests, shoulders, abs, and arms available for anyone to gawk at.

Sometimes there are two games going on down there.

That's twenty guys, ten of them shirtless.

Occasionally even three games.

Thirty guys, fifteen shirtless, the sound of thunder, the smell of testosterone and sweat. 

They're much closer than these pictures would suggest -- I'm only a few feet above the players.

I try to gauge my pace so I run past the basket where they're trying to block and throw the projectile.

Each game involves two baskets on opposite sides of the gym.  Sometimes they're running in the opposite direction.  

But I have lots of chances.  The indoor track is only 1/10th of a mile around.

Three miles, thirty laps. 

Plus I need to walk a few laps before and after my run, right? 

The players keep changing.  There's always someone new to look at.

The ginger boy with a dusting of chest hair and a glory trail.

The swarthy Middle Easterner with thick hair and dark eyes and smooth, marble-hard abs.

The baby-faced freshman who reddens easily.

The skinny guy with thin arms, a narrow chest, and an innie belly button.

The short black guy with massive shoulders and pecs.

The long-haired, bearded Jesus Christ, with a hairy chest and a cross necklace.

The blond boy with a beautiful physique who yells "Aright!" when he makes a basket.

The chunky geek with a huge basket that keeps shifting around in his sweat pants.

The later I arrive, the better the show gets.

I've been coming in on my weight-training days, too.  I have to do a few laps to warm up, right?  And after my workout?

None of the other runners has yet noticed me slowing down when I'm near the players, and then zipping around the deserted regions of the gym.

None of the players has yet looked up and noticed me looking, or if they do, they just think I'm into basketball.

It's late March, warm enough to run outside, but I think I'll give the campus gym a few more weeks. 

How can I miss the show?

1 comment:

  1. I can do you one better. In grad school a few years ago I specifically took a basketball class even though it was not at all required so I myself could get in on the skins and shirts action. It was me and a bunch of undergrads and I was much more confident so I’d just take my shirt off as soon as I started warming up for each class so whosever team I wound up on would have to be skins.


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