"When the music begins... your heart...your legs...your lungs will all begin working in unison - they will talk to you, and you will listen! ... You decided to come here and not go get a beer, so now make the most of it ... ARE YOU WITH ME, SANTA MONICA?!"
The wiry man has a smile on his face that clearly indicates his mind is in some world that is not connected to the one I've known for decades. He is about to embark on an hour of physical exhaustion and drag us all along for the ride. It is a fool's errand. And yet yes, I am, quite undoubtedly, one resident of Santa Monica that is 100 percent with him.
And so I deliver a genuine "Woo!" in the spirit of the great Ric Flair. Why am I doing this? Whenever I see that townie chick on The Biggest Loser blab on and on to the contestants about "I am a fighter" I can't roll my eyes hard enough. I prefer instructors to show me how it is done, do the exercise 10 times better and faster than me, then shut the hell up. The very reason I would not buy P90X or Intensity is because I know that no matter their earnestness, I'd still find a way to shut the DVD off. What on wrought this exemption to the rule?
It is Justin Rubin. Shotokan Karate specialist. Wiry without an ounce of fat like a boxer. Trainer to the stars and the lowly gym rats like myself. Well-groomed even after 30 minutes of crunches. Lover of using the "Tru Blood" theme song for hill climbs. Motivational maven.
I did not develop a man crush as some men might certain athletes, rather I decided "here is a man whose life I wish to emulate." It started during his first spinning class when he walked in with a Chris Paul jersey the day after the Lakers won the playoffs. He looked around the room and said "So what?" in a defiant tone. "Lakertown" he continued sarcastically. "Show of hands who watched from the Western Conference Semi-finals" No hands went up. "EXACTLY! Now get on your bikes!" And then I laughed. For probably a good 2 minutes. Much respect.
But to the title. While I couldn't say one way or another what his preference is, Justin is the frame and personality that undoubtedly was teased relentlessly in the deep south for seeming gay. And yet he stuck it out through the discipline of marital arte. And now, he lives West Hollywood, is in amazing shape, has a cult-like following, is great at his job, and probably gets more tail than anyone you know. As he damn well deserves.
Which should be a message to our own workout regimens. While we remain flabby diamonds in the rough, it too will get better. The pounds will drop, the runs will become easier, the breathing will become more regulated, and one day you may even get crazy Rubin abs.
And that was what was going through my mind as I finished my Friday workout - finishing a full on 5 days of 1+ hour runs and gym classes with Justin's 30 minute abs class. As he told us that we were better than our friends who rewarded their lack of work with a happy hour while we strove towards more nobler goals, I was amazed at how I was able to keep up with some of his ab work. This indeed was something I'm usually not able to do and end up collapsing after 10 crunches on the bosu ball. It is indeed...slowly but surely...getting better.
Took the weekend off and got back on track with some weight lifting and stair climbing on Monday, then a run with the dog and (gym-teacher) Amber's spinning class on Tuesday...which was not so motivational. We press on.