And so I find myself in The City of Angels-aka Los Angeles- standing at the site of the original muscle beach, just south of the Santa Monica pier.That’s muscles as in pectorals and biceps, not mussels as in the globby seafood thing that looks like a lady’s hoo-hah. There are still bars and things for beefy men and women to perform exercises on, I’m guessing the equipments have rather more technical names than “things” but I’m not part of the gang so I don’t know what they are.
I don’t feel the need to put my flesh into wardrobe items containing more than 10% Lycra which is good news because it would be extremely humiliating; not only can I not do a pull up but I’ve never even managed a full press up either. As I stood there I did wonder what looks I would get if I started to skip like a little girl inbetween and around the muscle men. Then I remembered I was in a crazy city so I doubt anyone would take a blind bit of notice.
I am in the good ole US of A for work. My bosses got up and went to Soul Cycle at 7am on our first full day here. To the uninitiated, Soul Cycle is a class whereby you go into a darkened room with X amount of other people, you sit on an exercise bike and an instructor- either high on life or cocaine- shouts instructions and words of encouragement guiding you for 45 painful minutes through an intense workout all the while with appropriate high-intensity music assaulting the ear drums. Apparently people pay for this.
Said bosses asked if I would like to go to Soul Cycle or perhaps the hotel gym. I politely declined and told them that the longest living animals are often the slowest. Think tortoise/turtle, elephants (they are slow relative to their size), Greenland shark (Google it, they are slow and one living at the moment has been radio carbon dated and found to be around 400 years old). The bosses appeared slightly perturbed, particularly when I said “slow and steady wins the race” followed by “live fast, die young”.
I am more inclined to moderate forms of exercise such as yoga, pilates and not forgetting the good old fashioned walk. Here in LA there are yoga classes on offer at every street corner. I went into a healthy eating establishment earlier and rather than having a container to put your umbrellas in as we would have in the UK, there was a pot with a sign attached saying “place your yoga mats here”.
Other oddities I have seen in Santa Monica:
- a small dog wearing four Nike trainers on each of his tiny paws
- in one ice cream shop the smallest option is FIVE full size scoops, either in a tub or huge cone
- a woman walking backwards down the street holding a mirror so she can see where she’s going
- a lady wearing a dog carrier with a small dog inside, it’s a bit like a backpack worn on the front but custom made to carry a dog
Welcome to the USA folks, where everything is bigger and better, there’s not a touch of subtlety to be found.