The guy who was interested in my beard (see near bottom of post, right above workout log) is named John. He plods on the cardio but he really prefers talking to people. Some fattish, middle-aged lady came in the other day. By fattish, I don’t mean “ZOMF what a whale, i mean she looks like she may have been ordered by a doctor to “get at least 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3x a week to help your blood pressure” So she drove to the Y in her SUV, did 15 minutes of slow walking on the treadmill and left.
I only mention this because she was able to do this without speaking to me. Our heads never pointed in the same direction, or I would have nodded to her and smiled, and I’m sure she would have done the same.
John always seems to come in when I’m the only person at the gym, typically near the end of my workout, when I’m done squatting and benching and just deadifting. (I may need to work out at a different time). He works out in a polo shirt and khakis. He comes over and puts his hands on the squat bar like he’s about to squat. When the gym’s empty, I clean up all my chalk/sweat/blood/spider poison at the end of my workout, so I get nervous because I feel I need to wipe the bar down before he gets his nice shirt all chalky.
But surprise, he is not there to squat! He just likes leaning on it while he makes conversation with me, i.e. asks me questions. This just makes me more nervous because he asks things like “Where do you work” and “Where do you live” and “Why did you move here” which are, I guess, reasonable questions (though they make me think of DirtyDave), but I don’t want to answer them I just want to deadlift and set a 5 pound PR with some stupid band, and finish my workout in 1:21, and change my shirt and shoes in the locker room, and not step off the curb funny and irritate my knee like i did on Monday, and not have any text messages on my phone when i get back to my car, and drink my Carnivor on the way home while i think about winning the IPF world championships/having consensual or non-consensual relations with Good Thing #3/playing minecraft (yes now i’m addicted), and not get yelled at by my wife, and my mother-in-law has not re-arranged the furniture or scolded my wife so I have to hear about it, and take a shower so I can show my son jiu-jitsu moves and shout at him in an encouraging manner before I take him to practice.
Usually I tolerate about a minute of his banter before he asks something that disturbs me and I start acting erratically:
John: So do you go to a church around here?
Me: Not in ____ county, no. Hey, where’s that thing? That thing with the paper towels for wiping down the equipment. Oh yeah, it’s over there. I’m going over there to get some. [scurries away] Sorry, kinda in a rush today!
Karena says I should have told him I was Catholic because then he wouldn’t have tried to get me to go to any of the 9074210974 Baptist churches around here.
…OR MAYBE HE HATES CATHOLICS – A LOT OF PEOPLE AROUND HERE DO – AND THEN HE WON’T BOTHER YOU ANYMORE.
No, because here’s how I see that suggestion playing out:
1. “Me too! I go to St. Mary’s and we’re having a free dinner for veterans Thursday night, and we’d be honored if…”
2. “Oh yeah? Well which church ya go to? St. Mary’s? St. Thomas? St. Matthew out on Rt 87? The Immaculate Conception in the mall? …”
3. “Ahh, so you’re a papist. Well let me tell you a thing or two about popery, bwah. You familiar with the book of Revelations? Cause if you take the numbers of the Hebrew letters, you see…”
(digression: We live 8 minutes away from literally the biggest church I have ever seen, it is across the street from a much older church of the same denomination (Baptist) – with a For Sale sign on it. I just picture the pastor of the older church watching the construction and telling his congregation/himself that everything will be fine…)
Almost did not go to gym today because knee was sore. Really it was because the kids are out-of-state visiting relatives with my in-laws. When they left, my wife and I did a little dance around the kitchen (this is the first time in 2 years that we’ve been alone for longer than about 8 hours). Then I drank too much tequila and stayed up really late playing video games while my wife somehow simultaneously laid in bed watching TV, but also messed up the house.
Glad I did bc knee felt fine. Went at 5 PM. Gym was crowded with 2 people. One was this smallish 30-something guy Ryan who was the first non-senior citizen adult male I have seen at the Y. We got to talking in the locker room cause we showed up at the same time, also because I was relieved that he appeared to be basically a normal guy. Which he was, I could even understand his talking. He benched like 105 lbs, but that’s cool. He even unracked his weights, which I’ve never seen anyone do before.
The only thing that made us different (really, makes me different from everyone around here) is that he is a hardcore college football fan. I like college football kinda sorta. Like Saturday night, I check the scores, and the police blotter. But around here, to fit in, you need to have an SEC team, you need to have apparel, you need to be ready for a lengthy impromptu discussion of strategy and opinion, you need to know the entire 80-man roster, you need to have something on your car indicate your team, and you need to attend at minimum 8 games a year in person.
There was also a hot chick, a slender brunette. I’ve seen her once before; she smiled at me. I think she works at the gym, maybe she does the childcare? because at one point she came out of a storage closet, and she told Ryan that she just been sleeping in one of the other rooms. (I turned down my headphones to listen)
It’s funny to hear chicks around here talk. Even the classy-looking ones sound like this:
Wall, I be fixing done go to the State Game tomorr wif Abner but he gone done told my momma that he ain’t picked up no tickets so i says, I says, ‘you best be gittin down to see Jake, he got some…
Tomorrow: the Wall Spray, and how I saw this other chick’s underwear
Squat: …385; 315×3
Embarassed by Ryan staring at me. He made some mirin comment to the hot chick, (I couldn’t hear it exactly over my music, but it was something like “that guy is strong,” not “what a fag”). She couldn’t have been less interested. Talked to Ryan a little bit between sets, but these interludes gradually switched in tone. Initially, they consisted of me signalling him when he was sitting around between sets and making some generic comment about the area, the Y, the weather, or football. Later in the workout, it became him approaching me, and commenting on how much weight I was using, asking me what the most I have ever lifted is, etc.
This resulted in me being conflicted by feelings of pride (hell yeah I’m benchin 3x what you were), shame (the squat wasn’t even four hundred pounds and he doesn’t even know any better), pride (he mentioned that the only guys he’d seen squat that much weighed 60 lbs more, so at least that shows a modicum of knowledge), shame (we lift at the East Podunk sub-sub-YMCA) shame (I’m going to post this on my blog and guys who ask me for advice are squatting more), determination (385 pfft, wait till tomorrow when I squat 390, etc), shame (Q: “What’s your max?” A: “500, but it was at 181” Only phonies give round numbers for what they can lift. Only tools can lift more historically than they can in the present reality), reasonable pride (remember when I took my best lifts at 181 and I was well within the top 20 in the USPF, and now I’m at 165, so it’s only natural that he would be curious), shame (nice crossfit clothes you fucking IPF wannabe, high socks, $100 shoes, 10 cent squat, mega knee sleeves, secret shame (way to fuck up your knee probably from lifting every day you idiot), and resolve (see ya tomorrow).
Ryan asked if I needed a spot and told him I wasn’t really going heavy, which I wasn’t but still made me look like a douche, but I’m figuring 5 days out of 6 I gotta lift off to myself anyway, so might as well get used to it.
didn’t deadlift because that may be what’s hurting my knee, gotta figure something out it’s the worst of my lifts, maybe back to RDLs or conventional, or I need to buy those floor mats like i had before, or maybe just pull lighter, or not use bands, we’ll see.