Roman Baths, Political Rhetoric, and Richard Simmons

It has been a while since I sweated the oldies in my best Richard Simmons impersonation. Hold on a second! First I wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of leg warmers and second when I work out I have my iPod cranked to White Zombie, Godsmack, Metallica or some obscure punk band from the 80’s.

Just recently I joined the Alaska Club. 

I have been a member of 24-Hour Fitness for years but they haven’t made it up to the Last Frontier yet. So deciding I needed to lose 20 pounds–I’ll talk about that in my next post– and the Alaska Club was the way to go.

I took the obligatory “tour” and sat down and signed my life away. Not really, I got a killer deal and it’s month to month. If you are interested go to the Valley Club and talk to Amy. Tell her I sent you and I get some cash!

The Club has every thing I need. Free weights, circuit training, cardio machines, and a pool.

Then it has some things I didn’t expect:

Free wifi

Separate men’s and women’s sauna and steam rooms

Cool water slide play area for the kids

Climbing wall

Snack Bar

Movie rental

Pro shop

Lounge area

Fitness classes


Free towels

and a movie theater…

Yep, that’s right. An honest to goodness movie theater in the health club with seating for about 50 movie-goers. They don’t sell popcorn but they do show cool movies like Tron Legacy and Narnia every night.

But before you run down and sign up I must mention something that is a bit worrisome, at least to me.

As many of you know, I am a bit progressive. I can carry on a conversation with the best of them and with that I have found what better place to talk political rhetoric and religious tenants than in a sauna on a Tuesday afternoon.

On several occasions at my old 24-Hour Fitness Club’s sauna I hosted many a debate about P-BO leading up to his election as the Prez and held court debating the war in Iraq as well as religious turmoil in the Gaza Strip.

But here at the Alaska Club they visit the sauna nude. Yep, just like they do in Finland. While I have no problem with the birthday suit. Wait, a second, yes I do… I don’t think it is proper to sit in a sauna inches from another man, cheek to cheek.

I know what you are going to say…

Every club is like this. No, you are wrong! At the 24-hour clubs they are co-ed saunas and steam rooms and everyone stays aptly covered, thank you.

To tell you the honest truth I used to hate taking showers in the 7th grade in P.E. class. Back then for some reason they forced you to shower communally after a 15 minute run around the gym. I didn’t even sweat in the 7th grade!

While I have nothing to hide–Mr. Johnson blessed me with at least average. I find it a little bizarre carrying on a conversation with another man in the buff.

If I can digress just a minute….

Jerry Seinfeld:“The Apology” episode:

Jerry begins dating Melissa, a woman who is comfortably nude in his apartment, even outside a sexual context. She walks naked into the kitchen to eat waffles and is also nude while playing board games. While George is envious, Jerry soon grows uncomfortable with Melissa’s quirk. He finds her to be unattractive if she is nude doing anything that involves her muscles contracting. Eventually, Jerry tries casual nudity himself. Melissa, however, while carrying a positive attitude toward female nudity (“good naked”), does not have similar views on male nudity (“bad naked”).Elaine later explains this as the female body being art, whereas the male body is just utility. Ultimately Jerry convinces Melissa to wear clothes more often, but regrets his decision when he can not stop thinking about how good she looks naked. Unfortunately Melissa can not stop thinking of how bad Jerry looks naked, and the relationship is ruined.

It even freaked Jerry Seinfeld out and that was a very attractive woman!

So from now on, I vow to not speak to anyone in the sauna at the club and my iPod will be firmly in my ears.

This is not Rome, nor is it San Francisco or a movie staring Tom Hanks and Denzel.

Have I ever said, they do things different in Alaska?

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works | Daily Post


Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows