Pam Fiction: A Body Like Mine


So Molly and I are out shopping and all when this girl comes up to me and asks if I work out at that chain gym. The thirty-minute workout place.

“No,” I tell her.

“Oh,” the girl says. She tells me that she’s just started going there and she wants to look like me in a few weeks. That’s what they promised.

I look the girl over. She’s not fat, but she’s soft. And round. Okay, maybe she’s fat, but not a tub. But no way, no how is she going to look like me in a few weeks, no matter who promised.

I take a minute and explain I’m an exercise instructor and I’ve got my certifications and I go to advanced learning and I’m on the cutting edge of exercise. That’s why I look like this and yes, I’m proud of it.

The girl says okay and that she hopes the thirty-minute place will make her look like that, too, even though I pretty much just told her that it won’t.

Which means, I tell Molly when the girl goes, we’ve got to go check out these thirty-minute places and see exactly what they’re selling.

So we do. We go in and the girl at the front desk — who looks good but not great, like the place has paid off for her but she’s not on my level. No way, no how — asks if we usually come at a different time because we don’t look familiar.

I explain to her that I’m an instructor at a few gyms in the area.

“Oh!” she says all perky, but then she gets all sad. “Sorry, but we’re not hiring.”

I try again. I tell her I’ve been hearing good things about this place and I’d like to see what it’s like.

“Oh!” she says, all excited like she was a second ago. “You’ll want to talk to our membership services!”

I explain again. I just want to talk to a fitness professional. You know: pro to pro.

That confuses her. I try to explain it again, but Molly jumps in. “Can you get whoever’s in charge?”

So I get to talk to this Traci chick, who shows me what’s going on. Omigod, I can’t believe some people say this is exercise. All this weight equipment in a circle, and women moving their way around the circle. But they’re not working, not the way the women in my classes work. They’re going fast, which Traci tells me is the way to make it harder. But for people who are working harder, most of them don’t have red faces. A lot of them are sweating, but there’s more than a few who’re chattering away like this is some coffee shop they’re in. If my students did this, I’d ask if this was a social club or a workout. They’d say workout and wait for a break. But here, there’s these women laughing and barely touching their machines for anything but balance. It’s sad. I can see a few who are trying hard to focus and a few more who are in their zone, but the talkers, they’re messing the whole place up. You’d think someone would ask them to get off the equipment while they talk. I do, when I go lift at any of my gyms.

When we leave, Molly asks me what I think of the place. I tell her the truth: it’s great for people who’ve never worked out before and who need to get started. Or for people who want to pretend they’re working out.

Molly says it takes all kinds, and she’s right. I’ll take the kinds who show up to sweat, the ones who put passion into their workouts. The ones who know that getting a body like mine means diet and hard exercise. That’s how you get a body like mine.

When those talkers are ready to figure that out, I’ll be at my gyms, teaching my classes. Just like always. After all, once you’ve got a body like this, you need to take care of it, right?

Ahh, Pam’s quite the character, isn’t she? A lot ditzy, not terribly smart and definitely full of herself. That’s probably why she’s not here more often. If you’d like to catch up on her past adventures as a ShapeShifter groupie, click here. That’ll take you back to her character sketch page, and will link you from there to the fiction that’s been posted here in the past.



  1. On a limb with Claudia

    May 30, 2008 9:09 pm

    Well, ain’t that life? We all either want to have Pam’s body or want to have Pam’s body – you know? BR/BR/My favorite exercise expert says that the very best exercise is the one you’ll actually do.

  2. shaunesay

    May 30, 2008 9:16 pm

    I dunno, she didn’t seem so ditzy to me! At least not about the exercise! 😉 Made me feel guilty for not being on my treadmill RIGHT NOW! LOL!

  3. danni

    May 30, 2008 9:57 pm

    poor poor pam!!!

  4. Winter

    May 30, 2008 10:51 pm

    You coulda said full of herself in caps. LMAO She’s pretty amusing.

  5. Ann

    May 30, 2008 11:45 pm

    I’ll stick to my Tai Chi, thanks (it’s actually working- I think). 🙂

  6. keith hillman

    May 31, 2008 5:13 am

    What a great story. I think I’ll pop down the gym right now!

  7. Bob-kat

    May 31, 2008 6:51 am

    Reminds me of the gym I used to go to where lots of women used to stand around looking at themselves in the mirror and chatting and checking out the men. The men did exactly the same thing. I left.BR/BR/Great piece as ever!

  8. paisley

    May 31, 2008 8:17 am

    i knew there was a reason i refuse to hang out with people that work out on a regular basis.. i mean a reason other than i look like a heifer nest to them!!!!!!

  9. Julia Smith

    May 31, 2008 8:53 am

    Actually Girl at The Front Desk seemed ditzy, and Pam seemed to be All or Nothing when it came to fitness. I agree that the 30-minute place is a good starting off point for the fitness virgins. And I also can imagine Pam turfing a talker from her gym in ten seconds flat!

  10. anthonynorth

    May 31, 2008 10:59 am

    Great story. And it took quite a lot to get a body like mine, too.BR/As to what that was … I ain’t saying 😉

  11. DJPare

    May 31, 2008 2:01 pm

    I don’t think I could spend any time with a “Pam” without telling her “where she could go” or what “to do to herself…” but I enjoyed the story!

  12. Susan Helene Gottfried

    May 31, 2008 2:03 pm

    Actually, she’s usually much worse, DJ.

  13. J. Kaye Oldner

    May 31, 2008 3:59 pm

    LOL – I miss my 30 minute place…

  14. Robin

    May 31, 2008 4:58 pm

    She’s much too tough for me – I think she’d scare me away from the gym for good!

  15. Granny Smith

    May 31, 2008 6:01 pm

    This certainly leaves me in no doubt about Pam’s personality.BR/BR/Convincing fiction!

  16. Stan Ski

    May 31, 2008 11:14 pm

    In the past I’ve spent hours in the gym, taking it seriously – and getting nowhere. 30 minute workouts?…at least it gets people to interact, which can’t be all bad.

  17. bunnygirl

    June 1, 2008 12:49 am

    Well, Pam is right about one thing– to get a certain kind of body, you have to do certain types of things. Where she misses the point is that not everyone has unrealistic expectations. Anything that gets you moving is a good thing, and most people just want to tone up a little.BR/BR/Pam’s not nearly as dizzy as the poor misguided girl who thinks she’ll look like a certified fitness instructor from working out at a 30-minute circuit place alone!

  18. Wylie Kinson

    June 1, 2008 1:12 am

    So here’s me walking to the fridge to indulge the treadmill-avoidance guilt 😉

  19. Thomma Lyn

    June 1, 2008 11:27 am

    Pam certainly sounds serious about her exercise — as though it’s her life mission. Her fixation on exercise certainly reflects her self-absorbed mindset.BR/BR/Great piece, as always! 🙂

  20. Constance

    June 1, 2008 11:53 am

    Was Pam a Drill Instructor in a former life? She sure has the mindset – “My way or the Highway” *g*

  21. Bethanie

    June 1, 2008 1:39 pm

    Hah! Methinks ol’ Pam has not had children… :DBR/BR/I can see her point, but really, anything that even gets you standing instead of sitting is Isomething/I in this day and age.BR/BR/Good read!

  22. Susan Helene Gottfried

    June 1, 2008 4:00 pm

    Children! Perish the thought, Bethanie!

  23. mauniejames3

    June 1, 2008 4:36 pm

    I know people like Pam…yeah they work hard on their body, but they become obsessed about it and put everyone else down…I grew nicely into my body thanks…not so great but not so bad…just really really soft…

  24. texasblu

    June 1, 2008 5:00 pm

    No pain, no gain, but no fun make Pam a dull girl!BR/BR/Ah well, she’s happy, and she knows what she wants. Leave the hard work of inspiring others to someone else. She’s a classic Red personality – sounds alot like my 14 yr old daughter.BR/BR/Anthony’s comment made me laugh… ditto for me!

  25. texasblu

    June 1, 2008 6:35 pm

    Hey Susan, thanks for the thumbs up – here’s a link for chapter one: BR/BR/ will warn you, I’ve been getting better as I go along, so as my sweet sister and my best critic has told me, it’s not til chapter three that you really get into it, although you really can’t skip the beginning ones. I love progressing – someday I hope to get really good…

  26. b

    June 3, 2008 5:52 pm

    We all do what we can do. That is what it boils down to. If we want to look like someone else then no gym, not even yours is going to help. A therapist maybe, but not a gym.BR/BR/b

  27. gautami tripathy

    June 4, 2008 8:06 pm

    I am NOT feeling guilty. I walk and walk and walk!BR/BR/Pam is quite a character!

  28. missalister

    June 5, 2008 1:16 am

    Well la-tee-da! I just swung from word to word it flowed so well. That’s how I got STRONGEMmy/EM/STRONG exercise today!BR/Your site’s first rate…you got it goin’ on 🙂

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