I am writing you today regarding the article about the owner of the Anti-Gym, Michael Karolchyk ["This Man Thinks You're Fat," January]. I have to say I have never read an article in which I have received such satisfaction. Earlier this year, I had written him a brief e-mail regarding his radio advertisements. I will admit that I could have been more eloquent, but never expected the response that he sent me. His responses just got more mean and irrational. To be honest, I was most disturbed by the way he felt he could speak to a total stranger.... He obviously needs help and a few lessons on respect. The point is to say thank you for showing Denver who this guy really is. He is a liar and he exploits the insecurities of men and women. I am not a feminist, nor am I a chubby. I do not have the most perfect body, but who does? He thinks that he is some genius for capitalizing on peoples' insecurities, but to me he is just an idiot and a liar. I moved to Colorado 12 years ago to seek a place where people treat each other with respect and know how to live a relaxed life. I found that life here, and, to me, Mr. Anti-Gym ruins the reputation of our city and state.
It is a shame that Michael Karolchyk is getting so much attention. He is giving overweight women and children an excuse not to visit a gym for fear they will encounter trainers like him. It's great that you researched him and found out that he is a liar and his mother is ashamed of him. The trainers at my gym feel redeemed and grateful that you brought the truth to light. His arrogance and negative combativeness in our field of health and fitness have driven us to order staff T-shirts stating "No Posers" and "No Bullies."
My real concern in writing this letter is about the women Michael Karolchyk demeans and demands "should get bigger boobs and lips." As a psychologist specializing in women's body and self-image issues, [I know] women have a difficult enough time with body confidence and self-acceptance without some "authority" like Mr. K prescribing such superficial solutions, which can only lend to increased body dysmorphia. If Mr. K is, in fact, the "Jim Jones of Fitness," hopefully he will self-destruct before taking others with him down the road of unnecessary implants and surgeries. Big meals, big orgies, a big Hummer, and big ambitions for spreading his reputation as "The Most Hated Man in Denver." Hmmmm. This seems like a B-I-G cry for how very small this man feels. It will be interesting to see how long-lived and long-lasting Mr. K's results are for his clients, given that punishment schedules have been empirically demonstrated to extinguish more quickly than those based on positive reinforcement. For his family members who are baffled by his increasingly outrageous behavior, we don't have to go beyond his interview with 5280 to see that Anti-Gym has become a playground for Mr. K to act out remnants of shame, anger, and not feeling "big" enough.
Dr. Lori A. Huett
Your magazine has grown and developed over the years until today a significant achievement can be celebrated. A case in point is your December 2007 issue. It is a superlative example of a commendable and relevant variety of articles. In the midst of a vast whirlwind of today's periodicals, which can easily fill an entire King Soopers aisle, yours stands out like a welcome beacon.
In your December issue, the scope of your topics covers a fascinating spectrum: Chris Davenport's ski descent from every one of our fourteeners; the startling epiphany of an Iraq War vet becoming a peace activist; the best new restaurants; the exaltation of life on the high plains; the various wedding locales of four happy sets of brides and grooms; Taos Ski Valley; Coors; midwives; and some historical recollections.
And excellent writing throughout. As a magazine reader...I salute 5280 for your scope and quality. Keep those presses rolling.
Eli Gottlieb's story, "Tools of His Trade" [December], was beautifully crafted and touched me deeply. I especially will remember the "ancient truism" he quoted, "The soul does not grow older." I have a fatal, extremely rare lung disease at age 58, and that truth so resonates with me in this season of my life. I would greatly enjoy drinking a martini with Mr. Gottlieb's father.
Mark Wilkerson is not a resister as your cover and article ["The Resister"] published in December's magazine highlights. He is a deserter, plain and simple. This may sound harsh, but it is the truth. Regardless of you or your publication's personal view on America's foreign policy or the war in Iraq, you insult the families and friends who are separated from soldiers serving our country honorably by publishing this. In the future, please use a little more foresight.
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