In defense of WREC ‘man cave’

Illustration by Zach Phillips
Illustration by Zach Phillips

There’s a lot of great things about being a dude. I spend little to no time getting ready to go anywhere, and the only shoes I own with a heel are for power lifting.

I never have to physically experience the horror that is childbirth, and I’ve been bestowed an amount of testosterone that once helped my caveman brethren kill wooly mammoths for dinner.

Since the untimely demise of the mammoth though, my people have had to find other means of utilizing the most powerful of hormones.

For many of us Neanderthals, that’s weightlifting.

It’s not a normal day for me if I didn’t pick up something heavy. I feel unproductive and lethargic. I don’t feel like myself because I didn’t do anything to improve upon the previous day. I can skip class all day and if I ate right and put in a solid session at the gym, it’s a productive day to me.

Oh, save your judgment. Like no one has taken a personal day before.

I tend to spend most of my time on the first floor of the Wildcat Recreation Center.

This particular area of campus’ crown jewel has taken heat in the past from other writers, and while I’m just an insensitive meathead, I get it.

At its peak hours, the weight room is a cacophony of sweat, grunts and a fair amount of assholes who really want everyone to know just how difficult whatever they’re doing is.

It probably doesn’t seem like a very welcoming place to someone unfamiliar with gyms.

Get over it.

This not unique to Chico State’s gym. Believe it or not, people making noise and sweating when they lift is usually involuntary. Try lifting as much as possible on any given lift and not letting out a noise of some sort.

And don’t tell me the weight room might as well have a sign hanging that says “men only.” I see more women there every semester and have an immense amount of respect for them for putting in some real work rather than spending an ineffective hour on the elliptical. I didn’t misspeak; no, ellipticals and treadmills are not the answer to whatever goal one is trying to achieve.

There are aspects of the weight room that I hate too. I’m not defending the guy in the power rack doing his best Maria Sharapova impression on every rep. I’m not apologizing for him either.

It’s important to remember that everyone there has the same ultimate goal: to be better than they were yesterday.

I know it’s loud and hectic and boys are scary. At least give it a try though. Most of us don’t bite. Except for Maria Sharapova’s unpaid impressionist. He might.

Matt Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or @mattmurphy93 on Twitter.