There’s been a lot of talk lately about the use – or rather abuse – of performance enhancing drugs in sports. Twelve Major League Baseball players were recently suspended for 50 games each, Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France wins were yanked out from under him, and every four years Olympic Gold Medal winners return their gold medals with their tails between their remarkably firm legs. At this very moment, Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez is facing a potentially career-ending suspension which would transform his legacy from possibly “the greatest baseball player in history” to “just another guy who doped.”
So why do they risk everything – their income, employment, reputation, and health to ingest or inject illegal foreign substances into their bodies that cause them to have unpredictable behavior, severe acne, and possible shut down of vital organs?
Because it makes them hot!
Their bodies become buff and chiseled, and desired by both men and women, as long as they only face forward so they don’t expose the gross back acne the meds cause. They strut around with their oversize torsos and vein-bulging limbs, and people notice.
But the big payoff is performance. It’s one thing when a small crowd gathers as you pump 400 lbs. above your head at 24 Hour Fitness. It’s a much bigger deal if you are a Major League player with an 8-figure contract, hitting consistent homers out of the ballpark, and destined for seat in Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
What a rush!
And apparently these days you can only attain that fame and fortune by secretly joining the performance enhancing team.
Which leads me to my husband Tom.
Although he played a few years of softball on a couple of niche adult teams, my husband hasn’t played baseball since he was a tween. Tom didn’t even play in high school since he was a little stinker back then and formed a huge resentment against the coach, preferring the life of an adolescent loser rather than become a varsity athlete.
But this summer Tom tried out and was drafted into a local Single A Minor League Baseball team called the Dogs. Every Sunday he and the Dogs played against another team of aging athletes who worship America’s greatest pastime, and have big dreams of somehow entering Baseball’s Hall of Fame (in another lifetime).
Tom has bulked up considerably, which means I can actually see where some of his muscles start and stop. And now when I ask him to replace the 5-gallon water bottle, I barely hear him grunt at all. At the ripe old age of 45, Tom has become a born again athlete. Which begs to question:
Is my husband on steroids?
I’m searching for clues. Fortunately I haven’t noticed any back acne, but he’s getting really cranky lately. This might be caused by his new no-gluten diet. If I had to live without pasta and pizza, I might be homicidal too, and even a 30 lb. weight loss wouldn’t be worth the risk of losing my family and spending the rest of my life wearing an orange jumpsuit.
Through the use of either steroids or the depraved diet, Tom has lost 8 lbs. in the past two months. His 5-months pregnant-sized belly is slimming down to a “Is she or isn’t she, it’s rude to ask if you don’t know” baby bump.
I found an article from the Mayo Clinic that revealed some of the side effects of performance enhancing drugs for men, including:
- Prominent breasts
- Shrunken testicles
Fortunately the pair of bumps above his belt have not grown, the bumps below the belt haven’t shrunk, and his baldness isn’t progressing at a faster rate than usual, which is basically a state of don’t ask – don’t tell delusion. In other words: “Yes, my forehead is growing but I’m pretending that it’s not and please don’t bring it up or I might cry out loud.” As for the last two, although my husband hasn’t knocked me up for over 7 years, it’s not for lack of trying and probably more due to my IUD and state of menopause.
Is Tom’s performance enhanced, or is he just getting better with practice?
On the way home from work once or twice a week, Tom slugs it up at a batting cage, and he’s draped our backyard driveway with netting and turned it into his own personal batting cage. He claims he made it for our 6-year old son Jake, but I know Tom gets a thrill out of hurling and hitting wiffle balls and cheering for himself.
According to the non-backyard batting cage speedometer, Tom is hitting pitches that are 70 mph and many that are zooming at his bat at 80 mph. He hits some of those. The ones he misses he just claims were outside or too high.
During games, Tom consistently bats 190 and averages just one to two errors each game. He’s had a couple of injuries, but champs it out and limps back the next week for another loss.
The Dogs recently finished up their season in the last place.
If Tom is doping, it’s not performance enhancing.