My Room 101…but without the cages and rats

You can’t unread “1984.”
It gets into you, which is why allusions to the classic George Orwell novel about the dystopia of dystopias have become ubiquitous. The references are diluted but still birthed from some of the elements in the book. If a president assumes too much power, he’s Big Brother. If the government is reaching too far into our lives, it’s Big Brother. The CBS show “Big Brother” keyed in on that and crafted a show in which people live in front of cameras.
It lives in other places, too.
It wasn’t until a couple weeks into my experience at the CrossFit gym in Ketchikan that I noticed “101” adhered to the outside of the door. The address, but I paused and smiled. If you’ve read the book, it makes sense. If you haven’t, Room 101 is the room in which the protagonist, Winston, is taken for torture. “The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world,” says Winston’s torturer.
Of course, I don’t think the gym is Room 101, but it did seem appropriate in the boiled-down sort of way. There is nothing chipper and joyous about going to a gym. Unless you’re the dude who sits on the bench for 20 minutes between sets to take pre and post-press selfies (#swole), the entire point is to reach a level of discomfort so that the next day you suffer.

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