THE MAKING OF A FITNESS INSTRUCTOR


A few years ago, CBC radio host David Grierson waited at the foot of a stairwell for my Sunday morning step class to end. He waited to interview me about my book “Awakening the Hunk Within.” While he waited, he reviewed some notes he learned from my resume on this web site. He recalled that I spent twelve years as a professional archaeologist.

He looked at the polyethylene step on the floor, and began the interview with a probing question. “How,” he asked, “Would an archaeologist interpret a finding like that in a pile of rubble two millennia from now?”

I never considered this question. We spent several seconds of air time waiting for the answer. “It would probably be interpreted as a game piece,” I said. “The players would line up on each side of the arena and throw them at each other. The losing team would be put to death by being whacked by hula hoops.” (Archaeology is such a dramatic science.)

This portion of the interview never made it to broadcast, but it didn’t stop me from considering the changing face of fitness over time. I didn’t consider it then, but I will now – but only from the historic perspective of my own generation.

Once, in Grade 6, after being summarily strapped and expelled for a week for some social indiscretion such as going up the down staircase, I returned home to find the living room crowded with all the mothers on the block. Each mother stood behind one of our kitchen chairs as they huddled around the television set. Each held the back of the chair as they adducted their left legs. They switched to their right legs, then crossed their legs over the chairs.

I glanced at the television. The snowy screen featured a muscular man in a tight T-shirt and stretchy ski pants. The cavalcade of mothers also wore T-shirts and stretchy ski pants and commented about the sexiness of the chair meister. “He’s getting me to find muscles that I never knew I had,” said one. “I’d like to feel his muscles,” said another.

I had to admit, that even in my prepubescent body, I felt a surge of unfamiliar hormones gushing through my system. I later learned they were probably endorphines.

The man behind the chair was none other than fitness guru Jack LaLane. He had this show for years. He became the first name in fitness and a sex symbol for mothers all over the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. As testimony to the importance of fitness, he’s still alive and wearing T-shirts and stretchy ski pants.

I became fascinated about the prospect of becoming a sex symbol. I resolved then and there that I would become a sex symbol just like Jack. I resolved to become a world famous archaeologist. If my muscles became strong enough from lifting all those heavy buckets of dirt and digging all those holes, I would dress up in T-shirts and tight ski pants and be a fitness instructor.

I never looked back.

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He also does some work as a field Archaeologist. He is also a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine, and the proprietor of The Résumé Doctor in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at  michael_broderick@telus.net or at michaelb@neilsquire.ca.

If you’re looking for a change, start with a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia

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