Have you ever been eager to continue a tale, but another story, by its very nature got in the way, and demanded that it be told? Such was the case when I visited the gym, with every intention of finishing the Mighty Oak, when I concluded with my training, before this narrative took a hold and refuse to let go.
It is difficult to find a bench to do bench press on Mondays, at one of the gyms I frequent, because of a clique of middle-aged men, each trying to satiate their egos, by pressing more plates than the other.
One of the men has been struggling to lift four, forty-five pounds plates for the good part of a year.
It is for this reason, why I normally choose to exercise in the morning, reserving the night, if it’s my daughter’s day to lift. On this particular Monday, I was spotting my daughter, as I pushed her to lift twenty pounds dumbbells.
As you can no doubt surmise from reading any of my proceeding articles, I am not one for idle chatter, when I’m exercising, but since this night was reserved for my daughter, I could not help but notice that the aforementioned gentleman was alone.
My daughter no longer needed my help since she was doing one-arm dumbbell rows, so I watched as the gentleman struggled to bench press 225 pounds.
“Where is the rest of your group?” I asked, when he had racked the weight.
“They’re all home trying to recover,” he chuckled. “These weights won’t lift themselves.”
“Well, at least you made it.”
“Yeah,” he lamented. “It gets harder to recover.”
“I see what you mean.”
“Things don’t work as well,” he grunted, “as when you’re young. You know how that is?”
I contemplated before answering. If I agreed with him, the conversation would end, but I would be lying to him and myself. Much to his chagrin, I had witnessed his failed attempt to bench press 225 pounds for reps.
Answer truthfully, and it would probably engender his wrath, and create a contemptuous atmosphere once he relayed my comments to his cronies.
My daughter overhearing the conversation queried, why I didn’t say anything in my defense.
“Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor,” I told her. “No doubt, he feels ashamed of having failed in bench pressing that amount of weight.
“What good would it do me, to show him up? If it appeases him to believe that we both suffer from the affliction of old age, why try to convince him otherwise?
“As you get stronger, there will be those envy of your weight lifting prowess. They will find a litany of excuses to nullify your accomplishments.
“If you remember to always stay humble, and refrain from being boisterous and braggadocios, you will never suffer the indignation of trying to please people, and just be yourself.”
I watched as she completed her upper body workout. I was determined to help my daughter build her body, and more importantly her mind as well.