(this is part 1…part 2 is coming). Love any feedback.)

I'm deeply closeted.

There, I said it. It's been several decades of holding back on my natural desire to sensually touch, taste and undress another man. The furtive glances in the locker room, the internet porn, my own hands were no longer enough to satiate my continually growing appetite. Just admitting it to myself has been hard. Taking action is so much harder.

Around my 45th birthday, something clicked inside me to start taking my physical shape a bit more seriously. I tried a lot of diets, cardio, a personal trainer, a running club, but nothing stuck until I joined a cross-training gym. Yeah, they are a little cult-ish, but I got unabashedly addicted. The proverbial endorphin rush was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I started seeing results pretty quickly, which only fueled the addiction. The results, in turn started to increase my confidence in countless ways. I started dressing in more tighter-fitting clothes, I became much less inhibited to take my shirt off in public and even started proudly taking showers in public lockerooms.

At 48 now, I guess I'd be considered a "Daddy." I'm about 5'8", 160 lbs, 32" waist, S&P hair. My pecs and arms have become very defined and I started to trim my furry chest so I can see the fruits of my labor. My ass is pretty round and solid as are my quads and calves. I wish I had a bigger dick (definitely a grower and not a shower), but at least it's thick and still works well. I married young and my kids are grown and my wife and I still have a pleasant relationship. The fire is merely embers and usually fueled by thoughts of some muscley guy I saw somewhere.

The combination of my age and this burgeoning confidence has started to crack that closet door. I'm hiding less, taking longer glances, fantasizing more and wondering "what if.." almost constantly. But I'm always stopped cold by a powerful chicken-shitedness. What if I'm found out? I'll lose everything -- family, friends, my job. I always secretly hoped that someone would hit on me first to make it easier to take that first step. But in my nearly 5 decades, to my knowledge I've never been hit on. There are plenty of guys I would have liked to proposition but the fears I mentioned above as well as the fear of rejection (my gaydar is not very well-tuned) has always held me back. Pathetic, right?

My savior recently has been my exercise. I do cross-training 4x week and I really look forward channeling my energy into it. It's a terrific release and it's a great social outlet. I see a lot of other members on a regular basis and the comraderie is great. Once in awhile, a group of us will grab coffee afterward, but that's been about the extent of my social interaction with fellow members. It's mostly guys, a wide range of ages and most in good shape, but none I was really attracted to or knew well enough to be attracted to until about two months ago.

I go to the gym at the same time in the morning. There is a core group that are regulars and a small number that come and go. Cross-training is not for everyone and we have a lot of one-timers so I don't pay too much attention to new members. However, when I saw Josh his first time in, he caught my eye more so than other "newbies." First, because he is the type of guy I'm most attracted to. He's in his early thirties, relatively short like me, short, light brown curly hair, thinning just a bit on top, about a 4-day's growth beard, masculine and solidly built like a wrestler. Second, because we made, although brief eye contact. Again, not trusting my gaydar, I chalked it up to him thinking he may recognize me vs. any real interest. While new, Josh got the hang of the workout pretty quickly and I we found ourselves working alongside each other pretty often. But like the others, we were friendly but did not engage in anything but innocuous conversation. However, each time we saw each other, the glances got longer and I started to think about him after I left the gym. He wore Nike workout shorts that were kinda baggy but clung to his ass and thighs. Same with his shirts. The guy definitely was in great shape. Even after about a month of this, it's all still a fantasy. He's given no indication that he's interested in me or from what I could tell, even interested in guys. But damn, when he stretched and his shorts clung a little tighter, I had that day's jack off material.

At around his 5th week, he started to initiate more conversation with me. We'd talk about the workout (bitching how hard it was), he asked how long I'd been doing cross-fit, what else I did for exercise, my diet. Then the questions got a little more personal like, what I did for a living (banking) and where I lived. He mentioned that he was relatively new to the area and looking for a place to buy and asked if I would mind grabbing a coffee with him sometime so that he could pick my brain on different places and mortgages (something I knew a lot about). I said "sure, how about now?"

Over coffee he told me he had been relocated with his company and was not clicking with the real-estate agent assigned to him and was asking people from different parts of the city about their areas. He told me that he did cross fit in his previous city and was happy to find one here that had a good vibe. Then he said something I totally did not expect followed by a long pause: "I get a good vibe from you, Mark." Now at this point, I was not sure how to interpret that. My first instinct was that he found a kindred spirit in me and thought we could be better friends at the gym vs. the more impersonal interactions we'd had. Then he said, "I think I have a crush on you and am pretty sure you have one on me too." This is where the difference in our generation is evident. A deep secret of been harboring for decades is one that he seemingly casually, yet confidentally puts right out on the table.



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