An alarming sign has popped up at the entrance of my local gym. At first read, I broke into cold sweat. People - from boxers, rowers to weight lifters - are refused entry if they don't carry a sweat towel. Heh. So it is no longer appropriate to leave sweat in a place where you go to, well, raise a sweat. I would've shared my piece of mind with the burly receptionist if I hadn't been mopping my sweaty face with a kerchief for the fear of being marched out of the gym. Be gone, you sweaty man! This isn't to say I am a gym junkie. I am not. This was my first visit in the last 3 weeks. I usually visit the gym to do a few laps in the swimming pool or if it's not very humid, maybe a few kms on the treadmill. I usually prefer to hit the pool. You can't dog paddle on the running machine, you see :)
Coming back to the towel issue, I feel slighted on behalf of my fellow blokes. We are fast becoming extinct, allowing the actions of over-zealous sanitary types to erode our natural environment. If we don't act soon, real men will be wiped off the planet by 2030, replaced by gormless, porcelain-like Robin Pattinson-types. Is that the kind of a 'man' the world wants? Some chicks may scream Yessss. But you see, less is not always more. I agree, sweat can be disgusting. No one would wants to see Miranda Kerr walking down the catwalk with a wet underarm patch. No one wants to have their bowl of soup dripped on or have their sandwich sogged up by a sweaty waiter. No one wants to be leaked on by a overheated commuter. On a hot humid day, our Kashkam can pose lots of kashtam for us.
But people and perspiration can live together. In harmony. In some case, it's a privilege. Try telling a ball kid that they are not to hold Rafeal Nadal's towel during a particularly tight 5-setter. I am sure they don't wanna be rushed off to be disinfected in a chemical bath. They wouldn't want to be washed for a week! I've always dreamed of being an Australian Open ball boy.
Take cinema. Sweat is an icon. Who else would pan slowly and purposefully on a worried actor's furrowed brow in a tense scene. Ask Ethan Hunt - sweat contributed to the suspense in that scene in Mission Impossible-1 where he dangled from the ceiling. Rocky, John McLain, why even our own Padayappa owes part of his good fortune to sweat. Thamizh makkal have paid him oru poun thanga kaasu for every thuli of his vervai. So why ban it from gyms? A wise man once said, If you cant handle the heat, you should get out of the kitchen. That may explain why there are many women-only gyms. Hm. Fair enough.
But now, the situation is dire. A species is at risk. Sweaty blokes belong to the gym. It's their jungle. If you don't like it, head to the swimming pool. One request: Make sure you take a leak before you take the plunge. Thank you :)