Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Fear of God > The Fear of Jory

Not very long ago, while serving together in the Provo UT LDS temple, my roommate approached me after we were finished and said: "Jory...I think I want to get a gym membership".

Now, in order to fully appreciate the import of such a statement, an appropriate amount of background must be given:

I have had a membership at Gold's Gym since August 2007. Throughout the duration of my membership, I have tried diligently in vain
from the beginning to get this very very good friend of mine to work out with me. Literally almost every day I have said: "Tyler, you would really like it...and I could REALLY use a regular work-out partner". "Not a chance" has been his consistent reply, often cutting my rhetoric off in mid-sentence with his carefully constructed and perfectly polished realistic rebuttals. "I just can't afford it right now". "Whatever man" I would argue, "You make more money than I do-you just have to plan it into your budget" or, "just give plasma once per month and you could afford it. One time per month..." Unfortunately, up until this point, the only thing that Tyler was more afraid of then exercise was needles. Lucky for me, the only thing that Tyler is more afraid of then needles was me, and this time I had the Lord on my side.

So, now that the groundwork is laid, we return to our hero in the locker room of the Provo Temple.

"Tyler" I heavily sighed. "Now is not the time to toy with me. I don't want to joke around right now". Grabbing me by the shoulders and looking me square in the eye (luckily, I was standing on a step at the time), my old friend said to me: "No, dude" (he recently has started to say 'dude' a lot...I think he got it from his recent addiction to ABC's Lost. [I wouldn't know, because I am not really hip to the scene these days, I don't know what the kids are into])...he said. "I really mean it. That's all I could think about the whole time I was in there". I just eyed him warily, trying to figure out where he was going with this, and prepared myself for the worst. "Sure thing, Tyler" I casually said, brushing him off in a similar fashion as he had been brushing me off for all of these years. "Now outta my way...I have to get changed". "Jory...I'm serious". Not allowing myself to be disappointed, I rolled my eyes and walked by him to by stall where I finished changing.

"Do it right now". I said in the car on the way home. "Lets go the gym right now and get you signed up" (two can play at this game, I thought. We will see how serious he is...we will see). "Whoa, whoa whoa" he said. "Ha" I thought to myself. "Caught you". "Whats the most bare-boned, basic package that you can get?" He asked. I proceeded to instruct Tyler about the ins and outs of Gym membership options and various packages that you could choose from, all the while trying to maintain a "who cares" attitude. "OK, lets go" he said. I glared at him. How could he do this to me? What a cruel joke! Surely he knew what he was putting me through...getting my hopes up and all, and we had just spent the morning in the Temple, of all places! So, in our borrowed roommate's car (note that I mean a car which belongs not to us, but to our roommate, and not a car which belongs to a borrowed roommate) I hastily drove us (and I mean hastily. After all, if this was actually going to happen, I felt that I had a very limited window of opportunity in which to strike) up University Parkway to Gold's Gym (we actually attend the one on 9th east, but I know a guy who gave me a really good deal on my own membership who works at the one in Orem. If any haggling was to be effectively done, it would be done the best in Orem). Shaking my head in disbelief, I see the guy and motion him over half-heartily, for the first time allowing myself to even dare to hope. We exchange pleasantries for a few minutes, then we got down to business. After several minutes of light-to medium haggling, the man who at first inquired about the "most bare-bones inexpensive package available", walks out of the gym with a 2-year "VIP" membership, which includes a session with a personal trainer, and unlimited tanning. Don't bother to re-read that last sentence-you read it right. Unlimited Tanning. Tyler Smith. With a tan. All the time.

So that was two weeks ago. You are probably wondering how things have been going. Great! Tyler is doing terrific, and has gone with me every single morning, only missing last Saturday because of previous commitments. He is working hard and seems to be enjoying himself. My only complaint is being the appointed one to force-feed Protein shakes to him morning after mourning, a ritual which he affectionately refers to as "drink poison". Gosh . I feel like Harry Potter when he has to force Dumbledore to drink (as per his own instructions, mind you) an entire basin of potion in order to obtain the horcrux, so carefully concealed by he-who-must-not-be-named. know that life is good when that is the only thing that you have to complain about.