My Empire of Dirt

I was preparing my gym bag last night when I felt something wasn’t just right but I could not grasp what it was exactly. Today at lunch break I looked at my edamame salad and crispy bread and I promised them I would be back reasonably soon, then I walked to the actual gym (which is near-ish the office).

Still something wasn’t right.

It was upon entering the place and seeing the ridiculous motivational posters (some have the owner on them), the women wearing the silly air-pressure belts and pants for slimming down, the men groaning under the weights, that it struck me.

The problem is that Wolverine is dead.

What’s the point of going to the gym now that Wolverine is dead.

Personally I started going to a proper gym in 2013 after watching The Wolverine. Before that I had never considered weightlifting at all and my workout consisted of interchangeable swimming, some surfing, hiking, playing tennis, skating, yoga class, pilates and ballet. To me muscle strength or definition was not a goal per se. The interesting part was learning how to hit a nice down-the-line backhand, or how to land a jump (albeit basic), walk long distance, not get injured, not drown, and deal with a floor. I still find weightlifting very boring, but two things have happened in 2013. First, The Wolverine, and second, me reading that in order to prevent osteoporosis you need weight-bearing exercise combined with muscle-strengthening exercise. But now that Wolverine is dead, I kind of find myself alone with a gym membership and a handful of depressing scientific studies about osteoporosis.

At least the movie was good. Well the trailer was fantastic, while the movie becomes good once you edit it mentally to erase all the stupid bits, reducing it to a slightly longer trailer basically, which you can fill later with your own imagination.

Of course Wolverine is still alive in countless other timelines and universes, which is not necessarily a reassuring thought. I was checking out this brilliant Logan timeline the other day, just to be sure, and it says that Logan is 196 years old, but emotionally he is 252 because of Days of Future Past. It’s a little bit heartbreaking. Anyway it’s been a long ride for me as well, starting from a cage in Alberta, a good 17 years of admiring the Canadian anti-hero and being sad for all his dead girlfriends.

Oh my, I think I am allowed a little bit of nostalgia here. The cage, the woods, Japan, the dead girlfriends. I am also grateful, because at the gym I discovered I’m tougher than I previously thought, which allowed me to train for serious hiking over two years and complete the West Coast Trail in 2015.

I am no expert of the Marvel universe, but I do like a good superhero. I like a good road movie, a western, a devoted actor, the sci-fi element, Star Trek and the stars above. Of course I will still love Hugh Jackman when he’s old and maybe a little bit fat.

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