Here is a letter I wrote to Bill Richardson, host of the CBC Radio 1 shoe”Crosswords.” I wrote it some years agoand I found it on an old disk. I think it stands the test of time.

Dear Bill,

Being a man at the end of the millennium means being both adaptable and flexible. My career as a fitness instructor took an abrupt turn last weekend that illustrates the demands on the modern male. Jaine, the fitness coordinator at the community centre told me she needed me to participate in a fashion show. This was part of the Fall Fitness Fair at Kingsgate Mall in Vancouver.

“Great.” I thought to myself. “Just what I needed. A chance to ‘ . . . do my little turn on the catwalk.”

Jaine told me that I needed to attend a special fitting at the department store sponsoring the event. “You need four outfits,” she said. “Oh, . . . and another thing. You can’t sweat in them. If you sweat in them, you have to buy them.”

People who attend any of my fitness classes, or any other athletic undertaking, know that what I lack in skill I make up in the generous production of sweat. After fitness classes, my participants marvel at the size and depth of the lakes I leave behind. Some see salmon spawning in them. The guys at broomball are afraid to get near me when I have the ball. They might get swamped.

I assured Jane that given the docile nature of a fashion show, there would be little worry of my sweat glands shifting into overdrive.

Saturday afternoon, the mall was abuzz with shoppers and errand doers. The stage was set, the music was blaring, and I was ready to throw myself into the world of fashion. Behind the scenes, helpers fanned me off and industriously tucked labels and price tags under my cuffs and collar.

It was my turn. That’s when I realized that I hadn’t a clue what I was supposed to do. I’d never been to a fashion show let alone modeled in one. “Just try to look fit,” said Jaine. “And hurry up about it.”

I stepped onto the stage. I thought a Monty Python style silly-walk might be in order. I did one and the crowd seemed pleased with it. I silly-walked to the end of the stage, struck a double biceps pose, and did a Tarzan yodel. I repeated this walk three times. I thought the crowd deserved better, so on the fourth walk, while sporting a crisp acrylic track suit, I decided to put on a little show.

Showing off my adaptability as a modern male, I changed my silly walk to one that was more athletic – a lunge walk. A lunge walk involves buckling one’s knees to a 90-degree angle with each step. It shows quadriceps strength. Judging form the smiles and hoots, my lunge walk impressed the crowd.

At the end of my stroll on the catwalk, I demonstrated contemporary masculinity by showing off my flexibility. I got onto the floor and extended my legs to either side of my torso. Then I lowered my torso to the floor.

Luckily the crowd’s hoots masked a sound resembling that of a .22 caliber rifle exploding. The sound came from somewhere near my groin. Although I felt no pain, I worried about whether I would be stuck in this position for the rest of my life. Then I worried about whether I would have to do my return walk on my hands. Then I worried about whether I could do a return walk on my hands. Finally, I worried about how I would drive home. I imagined myself driving with my feet sticking out the windows, my hands operating the pedals, and steering with my tongue.

These worries triggered my sweat glands. I could feel sweat streaming down my face and back. I could feel it collect in the sleeves of the crisp acrylic track suit. I could see it collecting in the armpits.

As I used my hands to walk myself up, I glanced down and noticed a flash of white emanating from my groin. This, I recognized, was my underwear.

I now own a new, yet somewhat stained track suit. With a little needle and thread work, I can probably wear it in public again.




Mike Broderick


P.S. Could you please play a recording of Garrison Keillor reading his poem, The Finn Who Wouldn’t Sauna.


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  

You can reach him at home at or at re looking for a change, start with a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all the above, he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia



  1. Rose A. Valenta Says:

    I’m still laughing! Thanks for the entertainment on the catwalk.


  2. mikebroderick Says:

    Thanks. Rose

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