Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Conversations in the free weight area

So I'm at the gym this evening and my "regular" bench in the free weight area nearest the lighter of the free weights is taken by some gargantuan guy with an impressive beer gut.

A few other guys have laid claim to the bench in the middle section of the free weight area.

So, I grab my three sets of weights (8 lbs, 10 lbs and 12 lbs) and appropriate a bench near the heaviest of the free weights where the really huge guys usually work out.

I'm about to do my first set of chest presses, when another gargantuan guy grabs his weights and sits on the next bench over from me. Unlike the gargantuan guy who is on "my" regular bench, this guy next to me is all muscle and no gut:  neck almost as big as my thigh, shoulders so ridiculously broad they're bordering on body builder shoulders, "guns" that are straining against his long sleeve shirt...you get the picture.

He has selected a set of 70 lb free weights and lays back to do a set of chest presses, straining against the weights, but making no sound. Just grits his teeth and sweats. He sits up to recover, balancing the weights on his rock solid thigh muscles.

I look at his 70 lb weights.

And then at my 12 lb weights.

And then back at his 70 lb weights.



They look positively GIGANTIC compared to my teeny, tiny, puny little 12 pounders

I don't know what possesses me, but suddenly I find myself speaking to him. Here's our conversation:

ME: That looks just horrific.

HIM: Excuse me?

ME: [I gesture to the weights balanced on his legs] That - those - look just horrific.

HIM: [smiling] Actually I'm pretty out of shape.

ME: Ummmm...I'm pretty sure you can't be out of shape and lift THOSE crazy heavy weights the way you are.

HIM: [gesturing with his chin toward to 100 pound weights and smiling ruefully] There are guys a lot smaller than me who can lift those. I'm outta shape.

Ummm...yeah...not. But if this guy thinks that he's out of shape, who am I to tell him otherwise?

Wonder if someday I'll even be able to lift just one of those weights using both of my hands and not actually hurt myself...

1 comment:

  1. I'm helping a friend organize a conference. Many of the conference talks will be about community building. One of the main threads is the importance of talking to people different from you, folks you wouldn't normally interact with. I don't always have energy to do that (after all, I'm an introvert), but when I do I enjoy see the world from a new angle (like lifting 70 pound weights being an indicator of being out of shape!).