Friday, October 28, 2011

Attack of the Personal Trainers

People are working out everywhere these days. In Daejeon, South Korea the corner outside the Dunkin Donuts is a popular place for a few local Personal Trainers to convince people that they know all about fitness. They ambush the street corner while I sip my coffee and leaf through a book of poetry. They caught me unaware. They hang a banner over the plane tree and small diamond of grass outside of the window. One man in a track suit and tank top points and marks where the weights will go, who will stand where, and where the small step platforms will be placed. He is clearly the leader.
                Inside no one notices the beginnings of this live work out video. This is the first work out video shot with no cameras and to come with a free flyer. The workout begins. They march in a phalanx taking their positions at the handicap dip in the sidewalk. They move like a small scouting party wading into the enemy’s river. They erupt into lunges, clogging the sidewalk like a blood clot. The businessmen and shawled old women weave around them like blood cells trying to make their way back to the heart. But they’re lunges are too far and too sturdy to allow anyone to pass. They move to squats, and a man smoking a cigarette hands a bundle of rolled flyers to a woman standing next to him at the banner. At first I thought this was some Asian advertising ploy that I didn’t understand, but judging by the laughter and the slowed traffic moving through the lights, it’s just as strange here as it would be in America. The kickboxing coach steps forward. He has a Flock of Seagulls haircut and his shorts are nothing more than baggy speedoes. His punches look as if his wrists are broken and he is trying to twist his arm into a noodle. The two men and women behind him follow along in perfect unison. Each movement is synchronized, except, in the back, the woman in the white hoodie becomes confused and misses a right hook and instead throws a right leg kick that almost causes everyone to lose their place. The head Trainer turns to her, he has the tight Fu Manchu of an evil ruler in a kung fu movie. He contorts his face into that of a viper and curses her, I assume, for the practice that she missed. The boxing ends and it’s the woman in the white hoodie’s chance to redeem herself. She has thick, runner’s thighs and a plump ass and I watch it float back and forth as she gyrates and points her fingers to her dance routine. They step and bounce and blend a disco style with some bad moonwalking.
The kickboxing coach seems to enjoy it more than her as he thrusts his pelvis humping the air around him and almost shoving his cock in an old woman’s face that is passing with her shopping cart. They finish and fall into each other in a rugby huddle. I can see the head Trainer drawing out a new game plan on the concrete. They break and pack everything up, and in a blitzkrieg they’re gone squeaking down the sidewalk. The swooshing of nylon and polyester moving to attack another street corner in hopes that they can fill their six o’clock tae bo class, and get a few people to come to the seven o’clock weightlifting seminar.

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