Lesson One: Bad Things Happen When You Lose Focus
The story I am about to tell you happened in 2008. I was seventeen years old and my follies were due to my overactive teenage brain. Yes, this story does involve a pretty girl and me making a fool of myself. No, I did not get her number and, furthermore, she was less than impressed. I am sure I left her wondering, as she ran away shaking her head, “Do you even lift, bro?”
I was in a sports performance class in high school. I got to learn about health and fitness while getting the opportunity to workout at the YMCA for school credit. I was on my last bicep set and an angel entered the room, lights shone from the heavens. From afar, I could see this majestic woman gallantly striding towards me, choosing music on her iPod as she prepared for her run. “Surely, she must be listening to Beethoven or Chopin,” I thought to myself in the timid stillness of my mind. “Only the stringed quartets of Beethoven could express the elegance of my future wife.” As violins danced and flutes fleeted about my thoughts, I was in awe of the woman getting closer to me with each step. Her flowing hair delicately brushed her face and likely smelled of strawberries and playful kittens. It was in that moment that I made a grave error. I convinced myself that I had to get the attention of the woman in pink for she must tell the tales of my mighty manliness in the gym!
I decided to grab 50 pound dumbbells for my last bicep set in order to impress her. A little background on me, in high school I weighed about 120 pounds and had a problem curling 15 pounds, let alone 50. I could barely get dumbbells off the rack and I nearly burst a vein in my forearm trying to hold on to 50 pounds in each hand. I hobbled and wobbled across the free weight section to make sure that she saw me. It was then that I made eye contact with her. I smiled a smile that told her, “Yes, I am interested in marriage.” She saw me and awkwardly smiled back. Love at first sight.
I felt weak in the knees, my world started spinning and my hands seemed free of the weight I was carrying. I was falling, falling, falling in love.
In fact, what was actually happening was that my legs got abruptly taken out from under me as my kneecaps collided with a flat bench that I didn’t notice in front of me as I was flashing my ‘smooth’ smile. The weakness in my knees was a physical weakness as my legs buckled in the contact with the bench. I felt as if my world was spinning and falling because indeed it was. I fully face planted on the unforgiving gym floor. Not only did I epically fall on the floor, but I was so off balance with the dumbbells that were similar in size to my entire body mass, the weights rocketed out of my hands and rolled across the floor. After that toss, I briefly considered professional shot-put or joining the Team Canada curling team because it had some distance! Unfortunately, the weight rolled right on to the track, and directly in front of my pink princess. Gracefully, she hopped over it and looked at me on the floor with a look of pure disappointment and shame. I will just wrap up this story by stating that I am still single.
The reason I tell you this story is because I see gym antics like this all the time. I have seen guys go on exercise bikes with dumbbells, doing super-fast bicep curls when girls run by on the track. But hark! Men are not the only ones who do this. I see women who come to the gym in full make-up and hair like they are ready for a photo shoot. They smile at every good-looking person they are interested in while burning 6 calories an hour on an elliptical, cruising at a snail’s pace.
My advice: stay focused! Get healthy and well, and be safe on the weight floor. You can seriously injure yourself by using equipment incorrectly. Use weights that your body can handle and remember that it takes work to get results.
See you on the weight floor.
Written by Chad Baird | BCMM Public Relations Student | Mount Royal University
Stay tuned next week for Lesson Two: Learn How to Get in the Best Shape of Your Life
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