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Monday, August 3, 2009

Gus the Bodybuilding Navajo or so I thought.

I promise this one will be short(er). Truly the most profound or rather, abnormal situations occur during the most unexpected of circumstances. I was running down the trail the other morning and hadn't encountered any other individuals enjoying the coolness or the solitude, which is oddly typical. But I couldn't help but see the large Lou Ferrigno looking centaur of a man making his way up trail towards me. Now, you have to understand, when I see people on the trail during my runs, they are usually 'outdoorsy' in appearance, you could go as far to say the average garden variety REI type, not that there is anything wrong with that: cute dogs, Nalgene bottles, oversized hiking boots, nature inspired colors and apparel, you get the drift. But this manbeast was quite the opposite, for starters, he wasn't wearing a shirt, nothing too unusual, I go shirtless when running, it does serve a purpose, however this man had what appeared to be two very large sea turtles strapped to his chest. I was mistaken, it was simply his abnormally overdeveloped chest. He was in fact, a body builder as I would come to discover in our 6 minute conversation.

For some reason I stopped, probably cause I needed a quick recovery, and also I wanted to see if his reddish orange skin was in fact a fake tan or if he was a bodybuilding Navajo, honestly I was quite confused. Blast! The tan was fake, not sure if I'm disappointed in that it was fake or he wasn't a body building Navajo, hmm? But what was not fake was this guys' dedication to the "Pools". Now, the "Pools" apparently are the endless number of aquatic lounges that line the Vegas strip, the swim up bars and hangouts for the rich and famous, or people who seek to project the illusion of being of that degree. This juiced up man proceeded to quickly elaborate to me on how he has been training and working out for 9 months for the "Pools of Vegas", so I told him "Right on man! That's awesome" cause to him it was and I was hearing this guy out.

My newfound friend proceeded to tell me while looking off in the distance past me somehwhere, and I quote, minus his slight lisp, "This year I'm going shoitless (shirtless), yeah definitely gonna make that happen, shoitless...the Playmate girls don't go for dudes with the big guts (he gestures), they like them tight abs, this year it's shoitless for me not like last year with the shirt on and all." At this point, I about lost it, lotioned up muscle, the gold necklace, the 90's Oakley shades with the leash in the back, the slicked back hair, short work out shorts and white basketball shoes were too much for me. I didn't know people were so serious about their self image, this guy has literally dedicated almost a year of his life with one goal in mind, taking off a 1/16" of an inch piece of polyester fabric so he can reveal to the Playmates of Vegas at the "Pools" his man flesh.

Come to find out his name is Gus, not joking, he is from Chicago, hence the accent. He was a really cool guy, worked in insurance and planned on purchasing a condo on the Strip below Leo Di Caprio, but according to Gus, Leo keeps buying up entire floors along the strip as real estate investments while the market is down, very environmentally concious of Leo huh? Gus also shared some investment advice, Vegas is hot right now, get in, so is Mission Beach if I can acquire $300,000 now, cause it's gonna double in 3 years says Gus. I could only muster up "Nah, I'm good man, Vegas isn't my thing" what else was I supposed to say to the Gus, I didn't want him thinking I was total nerd.

But I learned a few thing from Gus, if you want to have a good time you gotta hit the "Pools" in Vegas up, and the more virtuous "Gusism" he shared is that anyone can work hard at something and attain it confidently. Gus had more confidence than most individuals I've met, there really was a certain mythical quality about Gus, maybe it was just the timing and circumstance, but Gus seemed sure of himself even when most would quickly assume he was some self absorbed overcompensating muscle head, I didn't see that in him. I'm not really sure where this is going, but I keep thinking about our conversation and the idea of attaining a goal. Our goals differ, the reasons and methods may differ but sacrifice and hard work, confidence are necessary for them all, that is something we can at least relate to and level with. If anything, the run in with Gus reminded me how important listening can be, which is hard for me, just ask my wife. Also, how important good fake tanning products are in achieving that natural look, cause the brother was hurting in that department. Cheers.


  1. I'm loving your blog already man. Keep em coming.

  2. I hope Gus realized he was in Las Cruces and not Las Vegas.... You've always been an exceptional writer, really engaging - glad to see you haven't lost your touch!

  3. Good one man...Theres always a charecter out in the middle of nowhere for some reason. I think I'll run shoitless tomorrow.