I went to the gym. I do that sometimes, more to meet women than work out. Calorie burning is a welcome side effect and, ironically enough, can help me meet more women. So I go to the gym.
So I was at the gym. Specifically, I went to the weight room. The weight room is where the jocks and wannabe jocks congregate to flex and admire their own bodies as they strain against dangerously heavy resistance. Jocks like weight rooms because they make them feel superior and stronger. I like weight rooms because I am a jock wannabe.
So I was in the weight room. Specifically, I was at the bench press, getting ready to work my spindly limbs into a sweat. The bench press is the machine of choice for jocks, because it provides a bright-line of achievement. Can you bench your weight? Can you bench five stone? These are questions that are answered in the weight room and lied about outside of it.
I knew a guy once who had a nasty scar across his chest from where the bench press fell while he was trying to out-press another guy. The way I heard it, the injury was the result of an impromptu bench pressing competition before the gym outlawed such gratuitous displays of arm firepower. He had insisted on lifting without a spotter to show the "outstanding strength" of his rotator cuff. Apparently something had failed, and the bar had sunk lower than the lifter expected. The three hundred odd pounds (the number probably gets bigger with each retelling) had nearly crushed the lifter's lung and his rotator cuff was on its third surgery. The scars were pretty cool, though...
Across from me, at the bicep curl, a thin young man sporting a tight white shirt with the name of a rock group pasted over the front quickly moved a light weight up and down before pulling back his shirt to reveal a knotted and very small bicep. Rock Star was not distracting and I returned to the bench press.
That's when I noticed a short, heavily tattooed jock in the far corner of the gym. A stout gentleman, he appeared to be around nine stone and wore his weight with corded muscle over a short frame. His face showed tough features, a cauliflower ear and a Tom Cruise nose. I watched as he hoisted impossibly heavy weights over his head and worked his already bulked shoulder muscles with a common motion but extraordinary resolve. Wow.
To be continued...