I’ve just done my second Pound class, and am getting a tour of the UFC gym in Torrance. I a lot exhausted and a tad overwhelmed. There are people everywhere. The place is giant, 40,000 square feet, with machines I’ve never seen befo—
“Watch out!” Matt pulls me out of the way as ten sweaty people run through the aisle in a circuit class.
There’s all kinds of machines I’ve never seen before. One is a giant tug-of-war against a machine, complete with rope. Another is like climbing a mountain. You wear a belt that holds you back. Coincidental that I’m here the day after I’ve shared about Ronda Rousey’s boobs falling out during a UFC fight. There are heavy bags over there, an octagonal ring the other where, people doing a class in this corner, another class in that section, and that’s on top of the “Endurance” room with classes every hour. More chaos, or maybe enthusiasm—and for sure grunting and more tattoos–than any gym I’ve ever seen.
Twice more Matt alerts me to imminent dangers, this group of folks moving through, that one doing surprise moves.
“And at our restaurant over there,” he says, “we have lots of healthy things to eat. Nothing is over five dollars.”
A mom with two little kids in martial arts attire dashes past.
“Are you a fan?” Matt asks me.
I’m still puzzling over a restaurant that serves meals for less than five dollars. The question did not compute.
“Am I a what?”
“A fan. During fights we set up giant screens and serve food. It’s a real party atmosphere, complimentary for our members. Was wondering if you are a fan.”
“Ah.” I think of a couple snarky things to say—Do I look like a fighting fan?–having forgotten briefly that UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship.
But I fall back on the politeness rules Mama taught me.
“Nah, I’m not really a fan.”