On Saturday, we went down to check out a family expo happening at the Orlando Convention center. It turned out to be a weird little consumer trade show aimed at central Florida families, with a wide mix of vendors.

One of the booths was all black, with the words “gladiator camp” scrawled in red across its top.

Figuring it was some sort of exercise after-school program, I nudged my oldest son. “You should check that out.”

He glanced at it. “Why?”

“Don’t you want to be a gladiator?” I asked. The two of us has been trying to trick each other into visiting embarrassing booths all morning. “Because you could be a gladiator.”

He tilted his head at me, then shrugged. “Okay. Sure.”

The people inside the booth were incredibly fit. As we approached, a guy with arms roughly as thick as my legs stepped out to greet us.

I bumped shoulders with my son. “It’s all you.”

“No,” the guy said, looking at me. “This isn’t for kids.”

My son’s eyebrows shot up. He crossed his arms and took a step back.

“It’s. .  . huh?” I said.

“Don’t you want to be a gladiator?” my son asked.

“I, uh. . .”

The guy stepped closer, explaining that it was personal one-on-one strength training in a group setting so that the group could support each other in their physical challenges.

Behind him, my son gave a little wave and sauntered away to join his mom and brother. I’m not sure, but I think he was whistling.

The salesman glanced at my arms ever so briefly, then added “it’s for all levels of fitness.”


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