I have crossed over.
From bemused observer to garish spectacle.
From the guy who sniped from a slow-moving treadmill - "Hey, look at the old guy wheezing on the elliptical. Look at Bobby shortpants with the high socks, ha, ha, ha. Oh, and shhh, look over there at the guy so muscly he can't move his arms" - to an object of mockery.
Once a cynical outsider sent to observe the wildlife, I am now as much a part of the gym's flora and fauna as bad techno and those faded, signed posters of B- and C-list actors and athletes.
Yesterday, without even hesitating, I emerged from the locker room in a white T-shirt that my energy-efficient dryer has made too small, dark grey socks that I had worn to a funeral earlier in the day and Bermuda shorts/swim trunks. The light blue shorts actually depict a map of Bermuda and other islands. Get it? Bermuda shorts? (I bought them for $9 at a J.Crew store in the States during the absolute bottom of the ecomomic collapse last year.)
In a floor-to-ceiling mirror, I caught an image of the ensemble and realized how undiscriminating I had been. A couple exercisers tried not to stare.
For a moment I wondered what they were thinking but quickly decided I didn't care. I was comfortable in my Bermuda shorts. I am comfortable at the gym.
I am now a shameless regular.