I'm the pride of 2,500 years of history
December 7, 2000
...dude! I just want to get in shape.
My entire life, I have found absolutely no reason to workout or stay
in shape since I'm covered with thick black hair. Not even a single muscle
on my body is exposed to daylight. I took off my shirt in public once and
animal lovers attacked me; they thought I was wearing a fur coat. When
I walk into a public pool, wearing my Speedo, people run out screaming
with a look of indescribable horror on their faces. I went to the zoo wearing
my tank top the other day; the gorilla in the cage got excited and made
a pass at me. I was buying a sunscreen at the local drug store -- the counter
boy laughed hysterically and thanked me for the entertainment.
I'm also extremely puny and weak. I pulled a back muscle once while
picking up my laptop. When it's time for one of my friends to move, I'm
the last person they call for help. The elevator at work was out of order
last week so I had to take the stairs; after climbing two floors, I collapsed
and my co-workers had to perform CPR. I have love handles that make Opera
Lately I have been seriously considering a membership to my local health
club. Every day I look around and all I see are pictures of these guys
with big bulging muscles and perfect abs. Every time I turn on the TV,
I am exposed to images of beautiful people with perfect bodies and nice
curves. Why can't I be like that? How hard can it be?
I shared my revelation with some friends. After a few laughs and sarcastic
remarks, my friends suggested this personal trainer who has made a name
for himself. The trainer is Iranian and supposedly very good and disciplined.
I made an appointment.
I was scheduled for an introductory meeting with my Iranian personal
trainer at around noon. I arrived a few minutes early and was led to a
small room to wait for him. After about 20 minutes, A big, tall, nasty
looking guy walked in. He was wearing dark sunglasses and had his hat on
backward; he was bulging with muscles and veins.
"Hi, I'm Siamack. I'm Iranian." I enthusiastically exclaimed.
He checked me out from head to toe and said, "I'm Arash; I'm the
descendant of Cyrus and Dorious. I'm the son of Persia. I'm what made Persian
Empire mighty. I bench-press 300 pounds and dead-lift 500 pounds. I'm the
pride of 2,500 years of history and civilization. I'm the one who stumped
Alexander the Great. I'm the one who defeated Arabs and Mongolians. I'm
the envy of other civilizations. I put fear in hearts of my enemies. I
represent Persian pride and greatness."
Holly shit; this guy was a lunatic. He was flexing so much while giving
the pep talk, I thought his veins were going to rupture.
"Weakness does not mesh with being Persian," Arash said. "We
Persians are the rulers of the world. We ruled from China to the Mediterranean.
Our wrestlers are the greatest. Our weight lifters are the best in the
world. We have big shoes to fill. We Persians are masterpieces of genetic
perfection. Koroosh is sleeping comfortably in his grave knowing that Persian
blood flows in my body."
I interrupted Arash and said, "That's nice. Since I pay you by
the hour, can we get started?"
Arash looked around and grabbed a strange looking tool. He announced
that he needed to measure my body fat. He asked me to take off my shirt.
I told him I was cold. I asked him to do his measurements while I had my
shirt on. He gave me a nasty look. I almost wet my pants. I immediately
took off my shirt. Arash jumped back with the most surprised look. He tripped
over the scale and landed on his ass. He took off his sunglasses. His eyes
were wide open. He got up cautiously and said, "Who's monkey did you
eat for breakfast this morning? What the heck is this? Look at you for
God's sake. You can not be a Persian. A Persian man does not look like
this. You are weak, flimsy, and hairy. You are a disgrace to the Persian
race. You are a genetic defect."
I didn't know what to say. Isn't this guy supposed to motivate me? What
the hell is his problem?
I gathered enough courage and said, "I'm sorry, but not all of
us out there are as muscular as you."
"Don't talk to me!" he said, turning away. "Cyrus and
Dorious turn in their graves when you tell people you are Persian. You
can not be Persian. You must be from some other country. You are an insult
to those who built Persepolis with their sweat and muscles. You are an
outrage to those who defeated Romans and Greeks with their bare hands.
I can see Rostam crying in his death bed thinking about creatures like
you who represent the Persian race nowadays. It breaks my heart and aches
my eyes just looking at you."
"Take it easy man. Don't you think you're taking this Persian thing
a little too far? All I want is to get in shape."
"I'm so emotionally overwhelmed that I can not find the willpower
to talk to you."
This is crazy; I couldn't believe this. Who the hell is this muscle
head insulting me like this?
"Hold on dude," I said. "You are the biggest idiot I
have ever met in my life. First of all, you have all your facts wrong.
We did not defeat Alexander the Great, Arabs, or Mongolians. As a matter
of fact, anyone who got lost and ended up in so-called Persia kicked our
asses. Read your history -- would you. On top of that, we did not defeat
Romans or fight Greeks with our bare hands. And this might come as a surprise
to you, but Rostam was not a real person. Some poet dude made him up. Also
the reason we are so good at jerking weights around or wrestling is because
most of us back home do manual labor and we like to settle our differences
with a good fight."
Arash looked stunned. He was speechless. He started making strange noises.
He was moving slowly toward me looking like a big mighty bear. I faked
right and ran to the left. He missed me all together. He turned around
and said, "You single handedly destroyed my confidence and self-esteem.
You have crushed my ego. I hate you. I have to do at least a hundred push-ups
and two hundred pull-ups to get my Persian-warrior mentality back. I never
imagined the day that I would be emotionally crushed by one of my own.
Get out of this gym or I'm going to break your neck."
He sounded sincere so I ran for my life.
I stopped on the way out and yelled, "Hay Arash, I have a message
here for you from Dorious the Great delivered by Western Union. Dorious
is having a little get -- together with Koroosh and Cyrus and he wants
you to stop by Persepolis on your way home tonight. He said Rostam and
Sohrob might even show up."
I saw the Persian warrior charging at me like a runaway train. I ran
out and never looked back.