Guys doing sit-ups. A reader asks, “What is the YMCA?”

Hi, friends and readers:

In today’s youth culture, a set of sculpted abdominal muscles a/k/a a “six-pack” is a coveted feature of a young man’s physique. You know what that means: sit-ups and crunches, every day, hundreds of them. You reap what you sow, as they say.

If you follow this website, then you know I workout at our local YMCA, three times per week. I use free-weights and weight machines. I do crunches and push-ups. Sometimes, I’ll shoot baskets in the gymnasium, and I always swim twenty lengths of the pool afterward. I leave feeling great.

A reader named Jordi wrote me yesterday to say, “I Know many of your followers are going to shake their heads at me — hahahah — but what is the YMCA?”

Well, Jordi, based upon your e-mail addy, I’m guessing you are from Australia or Austria. So, I’m not surprised you’re unfamiliar with the YMCA.

Those letters are an acronym for “Young Men’s Christian Association.” Long ago, the YMCA was strictly an organization for white, Christian males. Facilities were located all over U. S. cities. They offered short-term housing and meals for young men new in town, and also athletic facilities for local men. Guys used to swim naked in YMCA pools because no women were allowed in the buildings. YMCAs were also notorious meeting spots for gay men during the Twentieth Century.

Nowadays, YMCAs admit members of both sexes, all ages, races and faiths. My YMCA is a really nice facility with new equipment, brightly-lit workout areas, and a sparkling swimming pool with several lap lanes. I love going there. Alas, the days of homosexual activity are far past us. But you can hear a song about it, performed by The Village People, here:

Have a nice Thursday, everyone.

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