Who Says Nothing Is Impossible? I’ve Been Doing Nothing for Years and Other Thoughts From the Gym’s

Friday, February 22, 2013

First I must provide a little background…..

There was a television show named Cheers that lasted 11 years from 1982 to 1993 and the majority of the show took place in a Boston Bar named Cheers. There was a overweight, out of shape, quick-witted, always making funny comments character named Norm Peterson that frequented Cheers daily. Whenever Norm entered Cheers everyone would yell out “Norm”.

Norm would respond to the greeting with a wave of his hand and a funny comment such as:

“I am so happy this holiday season is over with. The whining, the crying, the screaming, the temper tantrums … OK, I wasn’t your traditional Santa Claus.”

The reason I told you the information above is that I have evolved into my gym’s Norm. There are areas and training classes at the gym that I will enter and will be greeted a loud “Marty”. I then respond to all with something off the cuff. Last evening I said, “Who says nothing is impossible? I’ve been doing nothing for years and this is the result!” as I grabbed my belly.

With about half of the gym training class instructors, I have developed a give and take relationship. We will have a running commentary exchange during the training class that all others are always welcome to join in. For example earlier this week in Spinning Class, the instructor asked, “How’s it hanging Marty?”

“Over both sides and the back of this cycle seat. These seats are too small for my big butt!”

I do not practice insult humor or attack anyone with my attempts at humor. As I have written previously, I practice self-depreciating humor or observational humor.

Unless the USA Federal Government makes some budget changes starting March 1, the Defense budget will be automatically reduced and employees will be laid-off or their work week (and pay) will be reduced. The name they have for this is sequestered. The Federal Government can avert the automatic cuts, if it compromises on a deficit-reduction plan before the March 1 deadline.

I shared the paragraph above because some of my current favorite attempted observational humor revolves around:

If the Federal Government doesn’t get this budget mess resolved, I say we allow every elected Federal Government member to become a private citizen again during their next re-election attempt.

Not everyone likes to be lighthearted at the gym, so if the class instructor does not start an exchange with the attendees, I do not since I am a participant and not the instructor.

Sometimes some of the other gym class attendees practice insult humor and attack others in the class. If they attack me or someone I like with insult humor, well they are fair game and I have no problem returning the attack.

Once and only once in my years of gym membership and aborted attempts at weight loss and getting in shape has someone actually wanted to get physical with me. His problem was that he wanted to match his insult wit against my wits. The singular “wit” will never top the plural “wits” and after a few rounds, the one wit wonder resorted to cursing and was dismissed from the class.

Of course he waited for me after class and mentioned getting physical.

I explained to him that he should consider that there were many witnesses in the class to what had occurred and there were witnesses now listening to him physically threaten me and how I was advising him that if he got physical, I would have him arrested, sue him, make his life a legal mess and he may lose his job since he would be convicted of physical violence. I suggested that he apologize to me or I would ask a few of the witnesses to our conversation to accompany me to gym’s front desk to file a complaint with the manager and have his membership revoked.

He stared at me while I smiled at him and after a few seconds, sincerely apologized and I accepted the apology.

I do not make this stuff up. It really happened!

So, I enjoy being the Norm Peterson of my gym and over the next few months will become the thinner Norm Peterson!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    remind us never to piss you off! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1769 days ago
    Thanks for the memories about Cheers, Marty!

    This is a line from Norm Peterson:

    "It is a dog eat dog world, and I am wearing MilkBone underwear."

    1771 days ago
    What a wonderful person you are Norm or do I call you Marty? I liked Norm on Cheers. Such a great show.
    1819 days ago
    Man! I wish I could join your gym - everyone at the Y is really quiet.

    Humor is such a great way to diffuse situations and motivate people. emoticon
    1823 days ago
    I really enjoyed your blog! Thanks for sharing :)
    1823 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Oh yes, Cheers was an awesome show...Norm was one of my favorites. He was funny and did not have to be mean spirited. I would like to be a fly on the wall at your gym listening to your humor. emoticon
    1824 days ago
    1824 days ago
    your title was so funny................ i couldn't read the blog though because i have ADD and can't focus to read. sorry. ill hAve to just read a little at a time . i just wanted you to know that when i read the title i just cracked up at my computer. emoticon
    1825 days ago
    There will always be guys like that out there, unfortunately, that want to take things way too personally and then get immature and take the physical route! Kudos to you for being mature enough to know how to handle it properly!
    And as others here have already said, picking on yourself in fun a little here and there is okay every now and then, but you've got to build yourself up too! Remember how awesome you are! You're a great inspiration to so many of us and you don't deserve to be knocked down like that - even by yourself!
    Stay positive & awesome, so you can keep churning out the great blogs!

    1825 days ago
    I have loved Norm for years...........and I have always felt that having a sense of humor is one of the best qualities we can possess. You, obviously, have a great sense of humor and enjoy life. I wish you the emoticon in becoming a thinner Norm.
    1826 days ago
    Marty, if you're "norm" does that make your wife vera ? If so, does she know ? teehee...

    I don't tolerate students personally insulting each other in class. That's not the kind of class I each. I teach respect for our bodies as well as ourselves. A little self deprecating teasing is one thing, but insults are another. These days, I make fun of my age. I tell my students if the little old lady teaching class can do push ups, so can all you young folks ! LOL !!!

    And that guy who wanted to get physical with you sounds more like a twit and than wit. glad he saw the error of his ways.

    1826 days ago
  • KITT52
    1826 days ago
    I always enjoy your blogs...excellent writing style. emoticon
    1826 days ago
    Norm was always one of my favs!
    1826 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    You go Norm, oh, Marty!!!!!
    1827 days ago
    Great blog! I LOVE how you handled the threatening guy at the gym. And thanks for reminding me about Norm on Cheers!
    1827 days ago
  • DARLY55
    MARTY! Hey. You paint such a vivid picture, I can actually see what you were telling us. I want to go to your gym! emoticon
    1827 days ago
    Loved your blog.

    My favorite Norm-ism (said, I believe, to Woody): "It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear."

    Thanks for the chuckle.
    1827 days ago
    Loool. One wit wonder.

    Cool blog. =)
    1827 days ago
  • MARIANNE9855
    good for you- I am too timid to go but if there was someone there who wasn't as intense and perfect with a sense of humor- it would certainly make it easier. The important thing is you are going emoticon
    1827 days ago
    Yes but, you're there, at the gym, at a spinning class, and I do one, it takes balls! You're not sitting on the couch. It takes courage to be the funny guy of the class, I do that too! So go for it Marty. emoticon
    1827 days ago
    Insult comedy (it isn't humor, which requires a finer mind) is cheap and easy. Nothing cheap and easy is worthwhile, but it sure does depreciate the value of the deliverer. Which brings me to my second point. I never correct anyone in public, but since it fits here, I shall plow ahead and hope you'll forgive me.

    Your humor may be self-deprecating, but it never is self-depreciating. You have too lovely a heart for that.
    P.S. Good story.

    1827 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/22/2013 3:31:32 PM
    You are one of a kind in many ways Marty. I admire you.

    I also as a friend want you to take into consideration that however well intended self inflicted 'insults', they do undermine your self confidence. I know as I have done it and caught myself doing it recently again.

    We want to build ourselves up to succeed. Not to deride ourselves (however much it makes others laugh) and erode our foundation of success.

    I hope I don't sound like a 'kook', just want you to have all you need to succeed.

    emoticon emoticon

    1827 days ago

    Love Norm - love you and your humour too. So - plainly - do your fellow inmates at the gym.
    Keep posting Marty - and keep shrinking. emoticon

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1827 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/22/2013 3:39:52 PM
  • POPSY190
    Keep on being the shrinker-with-humour of the gym!
    1827 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    You are definitely "Norm of the Gym" but getting to be a smaller version of him!
    1827 days ago
    Your funny emoticon emoticon
    1827 days ago
  • KA_JUN
    1827 days ago
    Too, too funny!
    1827 days ago
    lol , I wish I could see that. I will always remember your blog with the bicycle idiot emoticon . there's no way someone could beat you Marty. I'm the same , when someone is fighting me I'll crush him (I like to do that with my bosses :P ) but I like to be the subject of my jokes. probably that's why no one gets offended cause I'm always laughing at me first emoticon and Marty , the spark reaction is the same : ). and we love our Marty!
    1827 days ago
    Funny guy! :) emoticon Have a super week end...
    1827 days ago
    Great stories! Sounds like your gym would be a blast. My better half is like that in her classes.

    Thanks for sharing a good laugh this morning.
    1827 days ago
    emoticon I would LOVE To be at Your Gym!! That was one of the things that I LOVED about Curves. Sometimes a Lady would actually get a Standing Ovation when she walked in!! More than once I have seen members greeted with Hugs, and a few times we have even shared Tears when someone was going through a Rough Patch!!
    emoticon I Really, Really, Really, REALLY Miss that!!
    1827 days ago
    Okay! emoticon
    1827 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.