I've lived in my neighborhood in San Diego—Pacific Beach—for over a decade now. "PB" has long had a reputation as a young person's haven. It used to entice residents with promises of long afternoons in the sun and Tuesday specials where you could get a Pacifico, a shot of Sauza, and two tacos for $6.

It was that kind of place—if you were looking for a home for your post college debaucherous behavior, you needn't look any further.

No more.

In recent years, the cyborgs have taken over. These late twenty-somethings are fitness obsessed, and rarely smile. They arrive at their Mecca, a gym two blocks from my house called The Yard, in the wee hours of the morning—more manicured than I'd be for a wedding when they arrive.

It used to be rare to see anybody on the streets of Pacific Beach before 9am; the young people were at home nursing a hangover. But by the time I pass The Yard each morning—pushing a stroller filled with children at about 7am—dozens and dozens of cyborgs are spilling out of the gym and onto the street. They move efficiently, in silence. Sleep deprived, unshaven, and often scolding children, the cyborgs sneer at me as if I were homeless as I pass. I'm amused by the whole scene, but also feel a twinkle of self conciousness as the humidity of their hotness envelops me.

The cyborgs are all insanely fit, and most of them are very beautiful. The sheer concentration of them is staggering—where did they all come from? They wear fancy designer workout gear from companies like Alo, Lululemon, Athleta, and Vuori—they all must be shopping out the same catelog. The objective seems to be clear; find spandex so formfitting that it exposes the exact topography of your nether-regions.

All in the name of finding a mate, right?


The Yard is one of countless gyms in Pacific Beach—I've never found a greater concentration of fitness centers anywhere in the world. And it's patrons seems to be split almost exactly between males and females.

But it's obvious from the interactions—or lack thereof—that what the cyborgs have gained in fitness, they've lost in social skills. They line up to take lonely selfies in front of a mirror at the end of their workouts, evidence of their conquests for Instagram. They shyly steal glances at their peers as they slip out onto the street, a potential husband of wife slipping away.

But they fail to engage—wandering back to another day spent alone at their home office, where they scroll Instagram, eat their Trader Joe's, and wonder why they are lonely.

It's a sight to behold; one that drips of both progess and regression.