I'm not a doctor. I don't even play one on the internet. But, I've noticed an alarming condition that is infecting men in gyms and health clubs all over the nation. I think it is infectious, and but for the tendency of American men to be completely sedentary, it would be a pandemic. This post is humbly offered as a public service.
Men, beware the dangers of testosterone poisoning. This is not a condition involving excess levels of the male sex hormone, but a mental illness whereby you start to think of yourself as a "real" man or at least more of a "man" than "that guy" and thus God's gift to everyone around you, especially that hot trainer.
My working hypothesis is that the condition may be caused or at least exacerbated by spending too much time exercising indoors, especially when the environment involves too many mirrors and the exercise consists almost entirely of free weights. Watch for the tell tale signs. You might have this condition if:
1. You spend 10 minutes walking on an inclined treadmill and you call that "cardio."
2. Your core strength training consists of lying on your back, jerking your head quickly up and down 50 or 60 times while you grunt and sweat profusely on the mat--which you don't clean up.
3. You think Pilates is a type of food.
4. You wonder what sport is played with the stability balls in the corner.
5. You move heavy pieces of iron four or more days a week.
6. You lift large quantities of food the other three days.
7. When you move your heavy pieces of iron, a "good" set invovles jerking your body back and forth and grunting like a female tennis pro in the middle of her serve.
8. You are sure the hot trainer at the gym is really into you.
9. It feels normal to walk around the locker room au naturel, sans towel.
10. While you are strutting with your junk in the breeze, you carry on conversations in which the most frequent words contain four letters or are eumphemistic references to the hot trainer.
11. You spend more time with the blow dryer and mirror than your teenage daughter.
12. The appropriate amount of cologne is that which can be smelled across the locker room.
13. Your elbows do not brush your sides when you walk.
14. You have one or more gold chains of any size around your neck.
15. You think that tight golf shirt looks good.
Men, don't let this happen to you. If you have a gym membership, you must use protection to avoid transmission of this contagion. If you want to prevent infection or cure yourself of a full blown case of testosterone poisoning, take the following measures:
1. Get married--Nothing will suck the inflated image of your manliness out of you quite like a spouse.
2. If you are married, actually spend time with your spouse. (See number 1).
3. Exercise outside--Swim, bike, run, repeat.
4. Race--Getting dropped by a girl and whimpering through a 5k while the skinny chess nerds make you eat dust will cure you of any illusions that your past glories on the gridiron count any more.
5. Eat vegetables--French fries don't count. At least a couple of meals each day ought not to come in polystyrene.
6. Hire that hot trainer to actually use her professional knowledge. When you can't walk the next day, you'll know where you really stand.
7. Stay with the trainer, and don't look into the mirror again your spouse tells you you look good.