There’s a really good reason for why I haven’t been mentioning my trips to the gym. There haven’t been any trips to the gym.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve been slacking…Shut up.
I’m back on the work out band wagon now! But that’s not actually what this post is about either.
When I say, “I work out,” I actually mean that I jog on the elliptical while watching Kathy Lee and Hoda drink martinis on daytime television. Then I do some crunches, maybe do some arms, look around for hot men, and then go home. I get sweaty, so it totally counts.
So even though I sometimes feel that my version of working out is for the faint of heart, I am reminded of my favorite patron ever who came into the gym where I used to work, and he gives me strength.
Now, I worked at a gym on a college campus, so the men who walked through our doors were usually a particular brand of fitness gurus– lats so big their arms can’t actually lower to their sides, to be exact. If you think that these “gym rats” would be rude, conceited, and dumber than a box of rocks, you’d be wrong. At least about the first one. Their happiest place in the world is at the gym, and they loved coming to see us several times a day. Late night rushes in the weight room to pump a little iron were nothing extraordinary, but a typical Friday night’s rush began a little earlier than usual so that everyone could go home to shower and look fly for a night on the town.
It was at the tail end of one of these Friday nights that this remarkable young man showed up for a heart pumping work out. The staff were getting antsy, ready to clean up and peace out to join the rest of the weekenders. I may have even had a different shirt and a pair of heels stuffed in my purse. My counterpart and I stood towards the front door to watch the stragglers come through the gate with two hours left til close.
“Alex,” I said, as I tapped him on the shoulder. “Take a look at this kid. Such a stud!”
We then watched the most intense workout I have ever seen.
A tall boy, rather gawky and awkward, was staring intently at the dumbells.
He took two steps forward. He took two steps back. He took a very deep breath.
He stretched his neck, pushing his left ear towards his left shoulder. Then he did the same with the right.
Another deep breath.
I could just feel the blood and adrenaline pumping through his veins. This was the big time.
He looked up into the mirror lining the wall, stared deeply into his own eyes, radiating confidence.
Two more steps forward. A deep breath.
Wiped his hands on a towel, because man, the sweat was sure getting to him. Nothing should interfere with his concentration. He took two steps back.
Another dedicated bro passed in front of him, and they exchanged the universal sign of kindred bro-ness– the head nod. No, not even a nod. An eyebrow raise and a nose thrust in the air, a flag of pride waving for musk and nipple-baring tank tops.
He wiped the towel across the back of his neck, sopping up the streaming evidence of his hard work and allowing his head to return to its perpendicular nature.
The dumbells were calling to him.
Just one step forward this time. The pressure, it was electric in the air. I could almost hear it crackle. It filled his breath with power as again he inhaled the sweet, sticky air of iron and dreams.
And then he walked away.
Never touched a dumbell. Never lifted a pound.
He just walked right on out of the gym and, I’m guessing, took the bus home to spray some Axe on that hot bod of his and go pick up some chicks.
Lesson learned: Mind over matter, people. Mind. Over. Matter.