Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 14, 2008 1:17PM

The Other Woman

Rate: 10 Flag

 personal trainer

My wife was happy - relieved I think - when I told her about the other woman in my life. 

I love my wife and we’ve been together for almost 25 mostly happy years, but her interests and mine have been diverging lately.  Take mornings for example.  I’m an early riser and my wife sleeps in, so the early morning, before work, is the perfect time for me to leave the house (quietly), and go to the other woman’s place.  After 30 minutes or so of hot, sweaty action, I go back home, take a shower, change into my suit and tie, and go to the office – all while my wife is still asleep. 

Let me be clear that this is an adult, consensual relationship.  The other woman does it for money, I’m doing it because I want to, and it’s nothing my wife wants to do anyway.  But it nags at me.  I hate hiding something from the woman I love.  I don’t like hiding this from my friends and worrying about which friends or co-workers I’ll run into in this small town while I’m out in the mornings.  And then there’s the money, about $500 a month, not an inconsiderable amount for the 3 times a week I visit her. 

She’s young, reasonably good looking, and in incredible shape – I doubt there’s an extra pound on her taut, athletic frame. 

So I recently sat down with my wife and told her the news.  At first she was frankly skeptical. 

“You’ve joined an athletic club and hired a personal trainer?!”  she said skeptically, with a nasty twisted emphasis on the “You” as in “You wouldn’t dream of doing something healthy like that!” 

“Yes,” I said, “I figured it was finally time to try to lose some weight and get into some sort of shape other than round.”  You should know that I’ve managed, at age 55, to retain my boyish figure, but only because my boyish figure was ball-shaped. 

“I think that’s great!” she said.  “Good for you!” 

And so ended my life of duplicity.  It felt good. 

Which is more than I can say about I how I feel after going to the gym every morning (I go in and do aerobic exercises, like the tread mill or elliptical machine, on mornings when I don’t meet my personal trainer).  I stagger out, sore, sweaty, and worn-out. 

So why, after so many years of inactive obesity, have I suddenly decided to subject myself to such a routine?  I think it’s my revenge against all those horrible gym teachers I had in Junior High and High School. 

They were a miserable lot.  Ex-military men who kept their crew cuts and coached various athletic teams and taught health classes.  I’ve always assumed that they did gym classes because they were such bad teachers that they couldn’t be trusted to teach anything else, but perhaps a few of them chose to teach gym because of their low IQS.  I don’t know. 

Those six years of gym class were awful,.  No instruction, no attempt to develop skills, just go out and engage in various masochistic exercises while the coaches stood around and cursed.  The shower part after the class where we were herded naked into the showers and then given tiny towels that reeked of bleach was humiliating.  And so any interest I had in being active (which wasn’t much) was burned into an ashen pile by my adolescent resentment. 

I was quite surprised to realize one day, not too long ago, that I was still carrying around that resentment, still avoiding physical activity, and allowing those gym-teaching-bastards to control my life 40 years later.  That made me mad enough that I decided to join an athletic club and hire someone who could actually teach me something about physical exercise. 

I like to think that this is a healthier way to get revenge and it frequently motivates me to get up early on a cold morning and go walk on the treadmill.  And though I’m not quite ready to admit this to myself, I think that I may actually learn to like it.  We’ll see. 

Meanwhile, the other woman sends me an e-mail, reminding me that I’m meeting her at the club at 6:30 tomorrow morning.  Another hot sweaty start to a cold wintry week. 





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Good on ya! But I have to say, this made me a little sad:

“You’ve joined an athletic club and hired a personal trainer?!” she said skeptically, with a nasty twisted emphasis on the “You” as in “You wouldn’t dream of doing something healthy like that!”

You don't really need her support to do this, and it seems you've come to this conclusion yourself, bless you, but be mindful of any attempts she might make, unconscious or otherwise, to sabotage your success when it starts showing. Many people take changes in others as a reproach to themselves. You just have to stay focused on what you want, and why.
Yes, it was always amazing to me that the PE "teachers" actually received salaries above minimum wage since they rarely taught anything.

Every year started off with flag football. What that meant that was the guys on the football team handled the ball, and the rest of us played on "the line." In six years of junior high and high school I don't recall ever having touched the ball. Nor do I recall ever having received even a basic explanation of the rules or the strategy behind any of the positions.

Later, we played basketball, which is to say that the guys on the basketball team played basketball and the rest of us ran around the floor. Again, no explanation of the rules or of any strategy.

Likewise with softball, track & field, and soccer.

One of the most shocking experiences I had in college happened when I took a jogging class. One day the instructor came over and asked me how it was going, and showed me a couple of stretches. I was stunned -- it was the first time in my life that any PE teacher had actually given ME any kind of personal instruction or attention. And I wasn't even on an athletic team!

Best wishes with the new woman. I expect it won't be long before you post about your first marathon!
You just couldn't resist those come-hither-go-thither-nine-more-reps-and-you're-done eyes, could you?

But good luck!
Will, I hope you had a better experience in getting started than this poor guy, as related by Click and Clack on Car Talk, written by Bruce Cameron:

seen here
Sandra - Thanks for the good wishes! In fairness to my wife, the nasty comment is much more likely to have been something I thought than something she said. She's very supportive.

Mishima666 - Depends on what you mean by "long." My next incarnation is more likely than anytime left in this one!

Rob - That's exactly how she works! And then she bats those eyes at me and adds another 5 pounds to whatever gadget I'm using.

BBD - very amusing reference, thanks!
My human companion claims I too could be doing with a bit more exercise. So now she runs with me on the leash. I claim that is inhumane. But at least she doesn't run too far or too fast, and I must say for me it's not too bad, with her still marvelously cute butt jouncing along at eye level a couple of feet in front of me :-).

Nice story. Gullible moi, I was thoroughly taken in imagining (and marveling at) your capacity for AM "nooners", when the punchline hit. 3 Woofs.

That memory of ex gym teachers rings SO true!
Good for you. Be forewarned, the gym will become very crowded for the next few weeks---all the New Year resolution types. The trick is to still be there in March, which is usually when the majority of the resolutions meet their end.

Congratulations on making the Salon Newsletter.
Very sly Sanjuro, you implied very teasingly about this supposedly naughty little rendezvous at 6:80 none the less, while your wife is still trying to put her brain together. You are out enjoying the "workout" getting all "sweaty" but still coming home, to enjoy a shower and get dressed, even before the neighbors know your gone. Good work (creep) if you are doing what I first initially thought you were doing. But if you are taking a serious look at your body, and you are seriously are trying to be in better shape, then I have to bow to you. It is not easy to get past those proverbial images, of gym, and the others that make it more of vanity ritual than what it needs to be. Even though the thought of showers with others watching our naked bodies, is so vunerable, they still do that way. It seems like one of those things, that society seems to accept, God forbid you talk about people with social phobias, but it is fine and well to stand soaked, dripping wet. It is not easy to get motivated, but like others that fit into a type A personality, they must simply be the best. I am a very comfortable B personality, do I get jealous? Sometimes, other times I question the motive, well really not sometime, but all the time. I guess I like to pull the blanket over my head at times to. Good luck with your "exercise" and no excuses for any other activities.
I can relate to this post. I detested gym in high school and have always had a love/hate relationship with evercise. I have in the past few years had two "other women": my wife is very jealous of the female voice setting on my Nike+iPod. And before that there was Maya, the virtual personal trainer for the XBox fitness game "Yourself Fitness." (I admit to a minor crush). Now it's time to pull out the shoes and dust off the XBox again.
Very nice Steve, you did a good thing, you noticed your wife is jealous. Us types are usually not good to fool around with, but the irony is, those are the types that usually get it. Why? because payback is a you know what, I reserve those blessed words for truly those that truly deserve them. I have too much focused thought on morons that try to one up on those that do not respond to Type A rhetoric and trying to always be one up on anyone and everyone they come into contact with.
Thanks for the recent comments! I appreciate the warning m.a.h as the number in the gym has increased considerably this week - I failed to connect it to New Year's Resolutions. And I'm delighted that I was able to misleads MOMSACOMIC - just the sort of thing that appeals to my sometimes impish sense of humor.