Testing T: A Workout

“Yes. Very nutritious. I definitely ate well. What did you think?” He leaned over and kissed my shoulder and then sat up, shaking his mussed brown flop of hair into an alluring disarray.

Oy. We had come to this. It was the middle of the day and I was laying naked and sweaty with the “Chief Fitness Evangelist” in a storeroom of Addison’s on-site gym. I had skipped right past furtive make outs with a colleague in the elevator and went straight to yoga-inspired closet fornication with one. Addison annexed the retail space next door— it was a bookstore, I think, pushed out by it’s unfortunate location in a sea of iPad and Kindle-toting digital natives— and it turned it into a gym. Though it didn’t boast the endless variety of equipment and plethora of classes that some of the surrounding fitness behemoths touted, it did offer something that those of us in the ad game seem to hold paramount— exclusivity. A mere flick of your agency ID granted you access 24 hours a day— setting no limits on the times when you could you spend working on your fitness, work schedules and needs for sleep be damned. It was busier during the work day than at any other time in the beginning—employees were commonly excusing themselves to take a turn on the elliptical or take a particularly popular yet incomprehensibly timed 9 am spin class.

With the new fitness studio, came new staff. New, sleekly muscled, exclusively juice fed staff. While Addison had always implicitly rewarded and encouraged us to “look hot”, it had never been thrown in our faces like this before. Though the fitness staff generally stayed close to the gym, they seemed to create ample reasons to swan around the rest of the agency in their sports bras and cut-away tank tops. I was contemplating quitting or just forgoing solid food when I first met him.

They hired, let’s call him T, when the agency was on the cusp of a full-scale rebellion, about to lose its collective shit over the pressure the gym hard bodies had placed on our now fragile, hyper-exercised and under fed psyches. T was given the title of Chief Fitness Evangelist and set about bridging the gap between The Bodies and the agency proper. I’ll admit that he was pretty damn good at his job- he was the kind of guy who put you at ease immediately. He was impossibly mellow yet peppy at the same time. He managed to find the perfect balance of bro-ishness and gentility that endeared himself to nearly everyone in the agency in one fell swoop. He turned us all pro-gym again within the first month of his employ– putting a mandatory, be-sleeved uniform on The Bodies and managed to get the powers that be to hire a dietician. Oh, and he started teaching a yoga class.

It was the yoga that did me in. The promise of a de-stress and a stretch in the middle of my work day seemed particularly appealing, especially since the analysts spent the vast majority of their days hunched over a keyboard. I started splitting my lunches– a little yoga then a little free salad at the still shiny new cafe. “I’m glad to see you in class every day.” My head snapped up toward the source of the sound and I found myself staring into the warm brown eyes of T.  He was holding a grotesquely bile colored smoothie, packed to the gills with nutrition, I’m sure, and a sac of tiny cheese wheels. “Can I sit here?” he said, gesturing towards the empty chair at the round two-top. I nodded slowly but affirmatively, my mouth still wrestling with what must have been the universe’s most chewy salad.

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