So, true to my word, I decided to get my fat ass back into shape by working out with weights and doing some running. Well, maybe some jogging….walking? I’m going to get moving for sure.
In a show of force to convince myself that I was serious, I even decided to get started on Sunday instead of waiting for my normal Monday put off day.
So Sunday night, I put on my workout clothes, grabbed my phone and made my way into the basement. Sadly, I have a decent workout bench and dumbbell collection that mostly collects dust in the basement. I don’t even have to leave my house, but I’ve still managed to not workout for over a decade while these pieces of equipment go unused.
I plugged my phone in and pressed shuffle on the music app and started to stretch a little bit. After 12 seconds of stretching, I was ready to begin.
There were already plates on the barbell from a time long ago when I was in better shape, but I figured what the hell, I can’t have lost that much strength, so I kept them all on the bar.
I settled onto the cold weight bench and clutched the bar with both my hands. It was cold and heavy and I already dreaded the five sets of bench presses that I was going to do. I successfully hoisted the bar from its resting position and held it aloft for a couple of seconds while I prepped my mind to count out the 18 reps I planned to do.
One, ugh, TWO, errrrrr, three, ohhhh what was that popping noise? Fffffffffour, fuck it’s cold down here, and that’s enough for that first set.
Ok, maybe that was a bit too much weight for the first go. I felt pretty good after those four reps though. I guess anything really is better than nothing, right? I stretched out my pecs, removed about 50 pounds from the bar and laid back down on the bench for set number two. I hoisted the bar again and just as I was about to lower it for my first rep, an Alvin and the Chipmunk’s song came out of the speakers. Those damn kids and their songs!
“Well, this will not do,” I thought to myself. I lowered the bar back into the bench arms without having done any reps in my second set and pressed the fast forward button on the phone. Thirty-two presses of the FF button later, I finally found a song that I wanted to listen to. How can all those songs, which I put into my phone my own damn self, be songs that I never want to listen to?
Back onto the bench, I stared at the wood planks that run across my basement ceiling as I prepared to lift the bar again.
“I need water,” I told myself.
I went upstairs and poured myself a nice big cup of water.
I went back downstairs with my water, laid my back on the bench and closed my eyes while listening to Brad Paisley drone on about alcohol.
I suddenly wanted some alcohol.
I gripped the bar again. It was cold.
I removed my hands from the bar and crossed my arms on my chest. I closed my eyes again to listen to the music while I pumped myself up.
I’m single and I’m rich and I got a set of six pec abs that’ll blow your mind…
“Sing it, Brad!” I remember thinking at some point before I drifted off to sleep right there on the bench.
Thankfully, the dog meandered downstairs and licked my face, possibly to make sure I wasn’t dead. I awoke to the sound of a slobbering tongue against my forehead and Johnny Cash lamenting the fact that his deadbeat dad had gone and named him Sue! I had no idea how long I’d been asleep, but clearly Monday would be the better day to get started on this workout stuff.
So as to not make the session a total loss, I did grab a couple of 35 pound dumbbells and did 15 curls. 15 curls and 4 bench presses! FEEL THE BURN!!!!!!!!
Hellbent on getting stuff did, I stopped by a gym and talked to a guy named Jim. For real! Jim’s gym had a free two week membership sign (no purchase necessary) out front and that sounded like it was right in my price range.
Jim was very enthusiastic and I knew right away that I wanted to push him down a flight of stairs or possibly hold his head underwater for several minutes. He was jogging in place while we talked. Seriously, dude, PLEASE STAND STILL!!
Jim asks how he can help me while bending over sideways at the waist with an arm bent over his head and two and three and four.
“Uh, if you’re busy exercising, I can come back. I just want to try the two week membership.”
“That’s AWESOME, MAN!” said Jim as I thought about how fun it would be to use his face as a tether ball.
“You’re a pretty big dude already, do you workout?”
“Uh, yeah,” I said. “I just worked out last night in my basement.”
“AWESOME!” says this putz named Jim. “Well let’s talk about membership options so we…”
“Nononononononono, you’re not listening to me Jim. I’m interested in the two week free membership trial and nothing more right now.”
Jimmy looked puzzled so I walked to the window and pointed directly at the sign.
“See? It’s facing away from us, but I can read that it says 2 Weeks Free Trial Membership in really big letters, and then in smaller ones it says no purchase necessary. I’m looking to not make a purchase right now but still take part in the two week trial membership as per the invitation on the sign.” I was mostly pleasant sounding and not condescending at all.
“But I can totally ma…..”
I cut him off “Ok, Jim, I actually see that it’s later than I thought it was, do you work tomorrow or Wednesday?”
“Uh, Wednesday is my only day off, Dude.”
“Alright, I’ll be back on Wednesday then.” I said and left the gym just as unfit as I was when I’d entered.
I was going to run at work on Tuesday but I forgot to bring any workout clothes. I’ll start running on Thursday.
Back to the gym, and thankfully, there was no Jim as he had promised. There was a buxom young lady named Tiffany working the desk. The sight of her pulling on her chewing gum and talking on her cell phone while I stood there like an idiot for an entire minute made me want to slap her upside her head with her own giant tits.
“Can I, uh, help you or somethin’?” Chesty finally asked.
“Uh, like I hope so, uh, Tiff. I uh like, uh, want to try your free two week membership n’ stuff. Is that cool?”
“Awe, that’d be totally doable, but the computer is uh, like not workin’ right now so uh, I can’t get you in there n’ stuff.”
Well, this is fucking great, I thought to myself. I suddenly missed Jim of the gym.
“Well, I brought my clothes, can I try a workout anyway?” I asked.
“TOTALLY!” she said. “For $5 you can workout once, yeah.”
“Oh, boy,” I sighed under my breath. “I didn’t bring any money. The sign says Free Trial Membership.” I walked over to the sign as I had done Monday and pointed to it for Tiffany’s benefit.
“That’s a different deal than a single day membership, sir. You want to workout once and that’s $5.”
“No, I want a two week free membership trial, but you said that your computer is down. How is that my fault?”
“Uh, it’s not your fault or my fault or anybody’s fault, sir, but I can’t let you workout if you’re not in the computer system. Those are the rules.”
Exasperated, I rubbed my temples and wondered why the fuck I was standing here instead of sitting on a barstool.
“If I gave you $5 would you be able to put me in the computer?”
Tiffany looked puzzled.
“When does Jim work again?” I asked.
“Uh, like tomorrow I think,” she responded.
“Ok then, I’ll come back on Friday. Hopefully, the computers will be functional again.” I said in the most aggravated voice I could muster.
When she replied “TOTALLY!” I nearly turned back to push her face through the wall.
I was pretty proud of myself as I started walking to the locker room with my gym bag to change into my running attire when it dawned on me that I completely forgot my running shoes. I had loafers and some flip flops to shower in but no running shoes.
In the hopes that the third time would be a charm, I made my way to the gym and, sure enough, Jim greeted me at the door with a nice handshake and an “I remember you, dude!”
Way to go, Jim! What has it been, like four fucking days?
Anyway, he managed to get me into the computer and I was good to go!
I changed out of my work clothes and into some workout clothes in a locker room filled with old man balls. Seriously, why are you people just standing around talking to each other naked? I was disturbed, but not completely demotivated.
I pushed my way past several ladies ogling themselves in the mirror and a couple of guys in stretchy shorts. Hey assholes, stretchy shorts? Really?
The bench press station was being used by a couple of meatheads yelling and grunting and spitting all over each other, but my OCD doesn’t allow me to do another workout first. Getting the bench out of the way first is mandatory, so I waited. And waited. And I waited some more until Thor and Conan finished lifting and then chest bumping each other enthusiastically to communicate their happiness at having lifted.
I asked if they were finished and they grunted yeah and started making their way to another contraption when I said, “Really?”
“You’re just gonna leave the weights on the bar and your disgusting sweat all over the bench like a couple of fuckin’ troglodytes?”
Beavis and his pal looked at each other and made sad faces that I recognized as the one my daughter makes when she’s stumped by a math problem.
While they deliberated over who last had the towel, I’d decided that being around these gym people was more than I could bear. I returned to the land of droopy balls and liver spots to get my clothes and leave.
“You done already, Dude?” asked my main man Jim as I was leaving.
“Is this place built on an old Indian burial ground or was it recently repainted with extra leaded paint?” I asked just less than sarcastically enough for him to recognize it as such.
“Uh, I don’t think so, why?
“No reason. Just curious is all.”
I left Jim and the gym and headed to the place next door for a beer.
The number of 12 ounce curls was astonishing and if pain is really an indication of gain, then this pain in my head indicates that I gained more from those curls than anything Jim could have ever offered me at his gym.