THE SMELL OF FITNESS


I begin to worry when have the population of my most popular class leave midway wearing green expressions of disgust on their faces. This is precisely what happened during my beginners’ step class last Wednesday evening. It followed an encounter with an over amorous llama – or at least I suspect he was suffering the effects of spring.

I always thought wild ungulates such as deer go through their mating rituals in the fall. A sex crazed bull moose convinced me of this as he terrorized me and my crew while surveying a mountain pass in the Stikine area looking for archaeological sites. As it eyed me with amorous intent, a hunter dispatched it to his freezer. Apparently they also feel the urges of spring fever as well, as proved by Eddie the Donkey.

Eddie the Donkey lives in my neighbourhood on one of those heritage farms. The farmer keeps old-fashioned species such as Bantam and Rhode Island Red chickens, a brown chicken, several species of goats, a llama, and of course, Eddie the Donkey.

Eddie usually busies himself by getting terrified by all the cats in the area. There’s nothing like the feistiness of a frisky farm-fed feline to set off a chorus of unrelenting braes from the poor critter. These usually happen at 4:00 AM.

Last Wednesday, however, Eddie had other ideas. He went looking for a mare of one species or another, and escaped his enclosure by blithely dancing over the six-foot fence. (A good shot of spring hormones will do that.) He promptly toured the city with a erection the size of Lumberman’s Arch in search of a little equine nookie. I suppose that’s what Eddie had in mind.

I heard the commotion coming down the lane where I was loading people into my car for the commute to Vancouver. Eddie led the procession braying and bellowing. The farmer and his wife ran along behind yelling, “Woah mule.”

I thought I could stop Eddie in his tracks by standing in front of him authoritatively. As I felt hot donkey breath steaming up my glasses, I realized the folly of my plan. As I ran out of his way, I turned and noticed he followed me. I felt like a sex object.

Luckily, as a professional fitness instructor, I’m used to being treated as a sex object. Usually I get stalked by women in Spandex tops and athletic shoes. On Wednesday, I was stalked by a three hundred pound animal named Eddie with hooves. My only escape was to run.

I ran back in the direction of Eddie’s enclosure. There, his pen-mate, the llama was pacing back and forth displaying nervousness. He obviously missed his donkey. As soon as Eddie returned, the llama gave me a big wet kiss on the top of my pate.

The kiss resulted in an unbearable musky smell that lingered on the commute into town, at my office in the city.

Afterwards, a custodian set up three ozone generators to dispel the smells.

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 does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine 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 career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you 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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