Rusty little outdoor gyms are scattered all over the place in Thailand. These rudimentary exercise facilities sit on street corners, curbsides, public parks, alleyways. Their function is simple: get Thai people PUMPED. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be working.
Let’s be honest – these machines are downright laughable. Only a small portion of the equipment is remotely identifiable: a bench press machine, a pull-up machine, a sit-up chair. Most of these contraptions don’t serve any (apparent) exercise purpose. Anyone who exercises seriously will be hard pressed to get a good workout in these dinky outdoor gyms.
The rusty equipment looks like it hasn’t been touched in years. Nevertheless, students pour out of class every day after school and many make their way to public parks to pump iron. I applaud anybody with the gumption to put these primitive outdoor apparatuses to use. They look like they’re about to fall to pieces any minute.
These gyms dot the map everywhere and they’re free to the public. Some have thin metal roofs over them to protect from rust-inducing rain. Others don’t. Obscure as they are, these facilities are the only direct means to building muscle in rural Thai communities. I crack up at the sight of a scrawny Thai kid trying to get jacked in one of these outdoor gyms. Yes, I know I’m a jerk.
But it’s not just rusty third world outdoor gyms that crack me up. If you think about it, all gyms are a pretty funny concept. Even the most state-of-the-art gym is just a big room full of gorillas lifting up heavy objects and putting them back down.
It’s all clear to me now… Thai people see past the monkey-brained nonsense of first world modern gyms with their costly memberships. They don’t have the desire to update their centuries-old equipment. They’re too busy being concerned with more badass stuff. Like Muay Thai boxing. Or cooking tasty meals for me. Yum.