It’s 4:30am. Did you know there was a 4:30am? It’s a ridiculous time of the morning reserved for shift workers, baristas and those stumbling home from a club. I am no longer one of those chirpy young university students who needs little sleep and is fueled by double espressos and mi-goreng, and I no longer pour copious amounts of coffee for a living. There is no logical reason for me to be awake and greeting a sky so dark the dawn is a myth. Even the birds aren’t awake yet. So why am I awake at 5am? Why am I pushing my toes into individual slots in performance boosting shoes, cringing every time I take a sip of this god awful protein shake and, in general, puzzling over my long questioned sanity? I blame my boyfriend. This is what happens when you date a fitness nut.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not just because of him that I do this. My partner is my motivator, my trainer, my dietician and my masseuse, though he really does need practice in the latter. He’s the one who kicks me out of bed every morning, who stands over me encouraging, “just one more! Push it out!” He’s the one that I end up growling at every day with a, “I’m fucking doing it!” He makes sure I eat when I’m supposed to be eating and I regularly receive a Facebook or sms reminder that I need to intake more calories. He’s the one who tuts every time I make a cup of tea and insists that I should have a protein shake instead. He’s also the reason I’m in the shape I am. It’s not all because of him though. There is something inside of me that feels that movement is good, sweating is healthy and there’s something that recognizes that the pain in my legs that makes sitting on the toilet seat practically impossible without a bar made for the elderly hooked to the wall, means my ass looks fantastic. Whilst I rather enjoy getting my heart rate up, looking fit and trim and surprising people when they see a little 5’5” blonde girl swing more than her body weight onto her shoulders, I’m not a fitness nut. I’m not one of those bulked up beauties that count every calorie, and I’m certainly not one of those slim painted girls that require a selfie and status proclaiming their daily gym presence, no, I’m just someone who enjoys keeping active. My partner on the other hand is a machine. A well-oiled, body hair free, supplement swilling junkie.
Being as devoted as he is, instead of joining a gym my partner actually owns his own gym equipment. Sure, you say, quite a few people do, but not like this. We live in a dingy old rental and have done so for the majority of our now five year relationship. When searching for a place to live we had only one proviso, it must fit his equipment. Our current rental has a large shed out back and this currently shelters his Olympic grade benches, leg press/hack squat machine, Roman chair, free weight rack, five different bars, dumbbell rack, pull up station, squat machine, lat pull down station, step, ball and a massive doo-hickey that houses about twenty different exercise options. If you didn’t understand a word of that, I do not blame you. The whole thing takes about three days to fully assemble and a small army of SAS level soldiers to shift. Needless to say, we have not moved in a few years. When it comes time to clean the house, it is the gym that is dusted, sanitized, vacuumed and mopped first. His gym is his pride and joy and he lights up every time we start talking about our dream house. His focus is always on his large gym with foam matt flooring over poured concrete with a surround sound system and floor to ceiling mirrors. If it were up to him, every room would have mirrors. Body builders are addicted to their own reflections. I call him vain; he prefers the term ‘narcissistic.’ Why? Because Narcissus was a gorgeous man. When we finally build our own home, I have requested that he soundproof the gym. The blasting music at fuck-this-o’clock really isn’t the issue, it’s his grunting. He’s not loud when we have sex, but in the gym he sounds like a porn star. When he’s not grunting, moaning and howling, he’s psyching himself up. “Light weight! Light weight!”
It’s not all just about his shiny goodies though. Food is very important. I come from a European family and food has always been a rather dramatic part of our lives. We all eat, but European’s make a tradition and a culture entirely out of food. When visiting my Oma I am always greeted with the traditional European, “Have you eaten?”
“Yes Oma, I’ve eaten.”
“Ok, I’ll make you a sandwich.”
My partner is European as well, Scottish to be exact. When he’s working out I often tease him by yelling things like, “Freedom!” and “Scotland!” The Scots are quite like the English in regards to food, though it is important they’re quite narrow-minded and the Scots love anything and everything deep fried. It took quite a few meals out and forcing him to try something new before he was ready for my rather eclectic family dinners. Whilst I have caused his addiction to sushi, his lifestyle has greatly affected my diet as well. If I hadn’t enjoyed food before, I’d probably hate it now. A typical daily diet, in writing, appears to be a weekly shopping list with a minimum of four protein shakes added on, just for good measure. Have you ever heard of bulking season? For about half the year we load on carbs to build muscle mass. It’s a good thing I have an Italian stomach and love my pasta. He is constantly eating. His colleagues have dubbed him “Nibbles” and there is never enough food in our house. The greatest issue I have with our diet however is the level of protein. A high protein diet is needed for building and maintaining muscle, however, it makes a person smell. When my partner farts, I could almost swear an animal had passed away nearby and had been left rotting for days.
Speaking of things I hate about our lifestyle; grooming. I am a woman who prefers to rid herself of leg and underarm hairs. Blessedly most of my body hair is blonde and therefore invisible to the eye, but I am also the hairy one in our relationship. My partner, in the traditional snow dwelling adaptation, is naturally quite hairy. In fact, if he lets it all grow it is easy to trace the hair from the top of his head, down to his sideburns, around to his beard, down his neck, over his chest, down to his privates and onwards to his toes in one clean line. However, removing all this hair makes his muscles look bigger. As someone who was previously a virgin before meeting him, if he had have been shaved when we first hopped into bed together my words would not have been, “Will that fit?” but, “No fucking way is that going in me!” It’s an ongoing battle as well. With the added body builders testosterone in his system he is constantly sprouting tufts of the very manly hair, and he blames my constantly shedding locks for blocking the drain. Huh. With the removal of all this bodily hair, other than his head, I become the hairy one.
With the added testosterone comes the increased sex drive as well. Sometimes this is great fun, other times I’m left with an ice pack between my legs. If you ever date a body builder, firstly, don’t laugh at his shrunken balls, men are a little sensitive about those things, and secondly, find other
ways to pleasure your guy. I’ve found a luffer under the balls and some body wash on the cock makes for an easy way to get his rocks off, that and telling him to just go wank. Other times the word from him is, “no cardio” and there is no bumping uglies for weeks.
As his life is centered upon the gym, our conversations are often about nutrition and training. I suppose my paramedic training may have helped in our introductory conversations. For a man with no medical training, other than the standard Senior First Aid, he can often sound quite akin to a med student studying aloud. Our life is also pre-ordained for months in advance. I am, generally, quite an organized person. I have my pocket diary I write my appointments in and he basically just lets me plan all our social interactions, but god forbid I should book anything during gym time. He will not miss a work out. I repeat, he WILL NOT miss a work out. One morning he was looking quite green and I suggested perhaps skipping today as he was clearly not well. You’d think I had suggested he sacrifice a small child to some god. Actually, he may consider that over skipping a session. During our training session he ended up with his head in the toilet bowel emptying his stomach lining. I decided to take pity and not mention that I was right. One thing for certain can be said about body builders, they are dedicated people.
Now all this may come across as a little harsh. Living with a body builder is no easy task and not a relationship to be entered lightly. He’s certainly addicted to “the pump” and can become snippy when he is unable to train. I’m lucky my partner does not compete or our diet would be heavily restricted and I would be stressing myself the days before he takes the stage as he dehydrates himself in order to get his muscles to pop. There are certainly days when I curse his dedication, like those days when I just want to sleep in and laze around, but ultimately, I do love the man and I do love the body he has helped me create. It’s not a ‘hobby’ that can really be restricted to just one half of the couple, but something that will deeply affect both your lives. Sure, that super fit guy looks great bronzed up and pumping, but just consider the lifestyle that you’re getting yourself into. My suggestion? Grab a dumbbell and join in.