Now and again someone gets a class confused with a strip bar. I have to admit there are some similarities. First, the hard-driving dance music that propels the class is similar to the DJ produced stuff found at Number 5 Orange Street of The Cecil Hotel – two of Vancouver’s hot spots to watch naked ladies while quaffing beer.

Also, the scantily clad participants add to the mystery. In fact, the musculature of my participants is more defined than most peelers. My participants are ‘cut.’

This is why I felt sorry for the poor boob who sauntered into my class last Wednesday. His breath told me he tilted a few after work, and he stopped by to see what he could see. Apparently the staff of the Drake Hotel Pub couldn’t do for him what my class could. I could see it in his eyes. They stuck out of his head like antennae. He looked like a cockroach as his eyes vibrated to the tempo and watched the women in the front row.

I considered asking him to join us, but his wing tipped shoes and tipsy balance suggested he might not last. Also, I was worried that he might introduce the class to bladder pooling (as opposed to venous pooling.) That would make the floor slippery. Clearly, I had to defend the honour of the class, so I took the opportunity to approach him, mid-ogle. I sidled up to him and said, “You’ll spook them if you stare.”

He accepted my piece of avuncular advice in a jovial fashion. “Fuck you,” he said.

I know what you’re thinking. Your thinking, “How’s a guy supposed to have fun these days? If you can’t get cemented at the local watering hole, and then stumble your way into the nearest gym and ogle all the hot, fit babes in tight clothes, where is a guy expected to have fun?”

Well . . . you’re probably right. After class, a participant asked me what I said to him. I told her and she asked why. I told her that there might be a harassment suit if I didn’t. “What if he followed you the parking lot and tried to make some moves on you?” I asked.

“I’d beat the crap out of him,” she said. “I haven’t beaten a masher to a pulp for weeks.”

“That’s what I mean,” I said. “Part of my responsibility as a fitness instructor includes keeping you out of prison.”

My troubles didn’t end there. I learned as I signed out that the bozo went straight to the desk and complained. The administrator said ‘the gentleman’ was quite upset, and intended to ‘launch a formal complaint’ with the Board of Parks and Recreation.

He did too. I had to answer to the programmer for ‘Infuriating a potential patron.’ She attacked me with statistics. “Did you know, that for every ten visitors to the centre we get one member? You should take that into account the next time you throw somebody out.”

I countered with a stat of my own. “For every drunk non-paying sexual harasser I encourage to participate, I lose at least two paying participants. One because she’ll be disgusted, and one because she’ll be in prison for beating the crap out of him. The choice is yours.”

“I don’t have an answer.” she said. “You’re on report.”

So much for valour. Aerobics is now a spectator sport.

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 or at or at 604-464-4195.  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.



  1. Sharon Says:

    Great story/funny!
    Sorry ending. You handled it well. Unless you threatened him, I!’m sure Parks and Rec will back you up in th long run.

  2. Jeanne Kraus Says:

    I really enjoyed this one. I often stop and watch the aerobics people, not because I have any ulterior motives, but because the instructor is pretty hot and I enjoy exercising vicariously. Watching all those people sweat is invigorating to me.

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