Dear Kid,

The International Language of Stud--Translating what happens at the gym DearKidLoveMom.comMy gym (well, it’s not mine, it’s the community’s). The gym I belong to has a wide range of people who come to work out. The fit, the not so fit, the Sponge Bob wannabe. The young, the ancient, the in-between (I fall into that category—you may refrain from comment). We also have a wide selection of college students.

I know they are college students because a) they look like college, b) they talk like college students, and c) some of them have told me they’re college students.

Not all of them speak English as their first language. But it doesn’t really matter. It’s easy enough to follow what’s going on.

Yesterday, two guys were doing shoulder presses. They did not sneer derisively at my ½ pound weights (I’m kidding—they did sneer). One was pressing 35 pound dumbbells (we’ll call him 35) and one was pressing 45 pound dumbbells (we’ll call him 45). 35 pressed, 45 spotted. Then they switched. Much Spanish after which 35 tried pressing the 45s (without much success). Switch. Then 35 went to retrieve the 35 pounders—much Spanish. Several significant looks. 35 came back carrying 40 pound dumbbells. “Peer pressure” he said in English. I didn’t need the translation.

Then there’s Look at Me Dude. He was also working shoulders, using 65 pound weights. For the record, they were too heavy which gave him the opportunity to grunt and groan and grimace and then to drop those suckers on the floor (shaking the entire building so everyone would look up to see what had happened and startling Yours Truly who’d been spending time between sets texting a certain remote college student).

Plank Girl is very thin, very athletic, and very unassuming. She doesn’t care if she’s near a mirror or not. She comes to work. Hard. She’s friends with the girl majoring in American Sign Language (we had a conversation a while ago). I’ve seen Plank Girl work out and she’s a machine. I’m convinced the only reason she changes position when she’s doing planks is boredom. Otherwise she’d still be there 6 hours later.

My Business is Your Business works out semi-regularly. And by “semi-regularly” I mean approximately 1/3 of the time he’s at the gym. The rest of the time is spent slapping other dudes on the back and shouting into his cell phone.

The Two Math Majors (actually I’m guessing they are grad students) sport matching wispy beards and discuss weird calculations as they work out. They have one muscle that they share.

I Love Me Dud (why are the I Love Mes at the gym so often men?) grabs a spot by the mirror and proceeds to do exercises designed to show (himself) every muscle. In case you weren’t sure, he accepts the hint and looks at himself. I’ve never seen him actually kiss his muscles, but it’s probably because he doesn’t like PDAs and kisses at home.

And then there is the small child in the locker room singing Do, a Dear at the top of her lungs. Well, singing 70% of it. “La, a needle is a thread!!!” Translation? Joy, pure joy.

Love, Mom