Weren’t You Just Here! . . .

It happened, but if someone would have told me it did, I would not have believed them.  

Going to the gym has evolved over the years, with slight changes along the way. The ritual that I have now grown accustomed to is watching a trainer discussing their particular training style for the muscles that made up that day’s workout. Whether it’s Seth Feroce, Mike Van Wyck, Jeff Cavalier, or the late John Meadows, each provided insightful information, which aids me in my bodybuilding journey. 

On this particular day, I pulled into the gym’s parking lot as normal. Watched John Meadows’ YouTube video on legs. Signed into my BodySpace account to map out the exercises for my workout. Put my Sony earbuds in, selected a playlist, cranked up the volume, and headed into the gym.  

I placed my phone up to the barcode detector and proceeded to the treadmill. I normally stretched as a warm up, but since I was doing legs, ten minutes on the treadmill would suffice. I started surveying the gym for the exercise equipment I would need. A woman was sitting on the leg extension machine. I mean literally sitting. She did not move at all. Next to her, a guy starting using the seated leg curl machine. 

I reasoned those two machines were going to be occupied for awhile. From my vantage point I could see the leg press machine. No one was using it, so I decided to cut my walk on the treadmill to five minutes. I reasoned if I couldn’t superset my quads and hamstrings on the two aforementioned machines, I could at least use the lying leg curl machine to warm up my hamstrings. No such luck. As I approached another guy set down his water bottle next to it. 

The only thing left to do was use the plated loaded leg press machine. I should have known better. All the weekend warriors were in the gym. Coming an hour later than I had planned cost me. Even the pin loaded leg press machine was occupied.  

I loaded a forty-five-pound plate on each side. I started with high reps, decreasing it by ten, each time I added another two plates on the machine. When I had loaded 450 pounds, the reps were down to 10. I used the same reverse pyramid sets on my calves. I had the weight down to 180 pounds, while upping the reps to 60.  

It was then that the lady stepping off the hack squat machine asked if I was finished. I had taken off the two forty-five pounds plates, when she asked me to leave them. She picked up a plate before I could place it back, and wanting to be a gentleman, I loaded the other one for her. 

I thought nothing of this encounter and proceeded to the Smith Machine to do stiff legged deadlifts, standing calf raises, barbell lunges with a slight twist, and barbell squats. I moved on to abs, when I completed my leg workout. 

I had successfully shrunk my waist, and was now working on the coveted six pack. My tri set consisted of hanging knee raises (lower abs), corkscrews (serrates and obliques), and standing rope crunches (emphasis more on upper, than lower). 

From this point on things in the gym became peculiar. Let me preface it so you can better understand. Normally when I go to the gym, no one talks to me. This could be one of two reasons. The first, I am only a remaining few that still wears a mask. The second, you might say is the aura that people I train claim I give off. 

I don’t go to the gym to socialize. I’m not there to make friends. I hate small talk. 

I go to the gym to kick ass, and preferably my own. 

To begin the tri set abs workout, I needed a five-pound weight. I inadvertently stepped in the middle of a training session. An elderly woman smiled as I approached. Realizing my error, I took the weight quickly.  

I started doing the hanging knee raises with a wide grip at the pull up station. Then moved to the captain’s chair to do the corkscrews (credit to Jeff Cavalier), and completed the standing rope crunches set at the high pulley cable. I had just completed the second set of hanging knee raises with the five-pound dumbbell between my feet, when I noticed a woman smiling at me. 

She was on the other captain’s chair. “It is not as easy as it seems,” she said, as I approached.  

So engrossed in my workout, I didn’t realize that it was the same woman from the group training session. I immediately became annoyed, because a guy had taken my rope from the cable pulley. Worse, another guy wearing a weighted vest started doing pull ups on the captain’s chair I was still using. 

I know this is an exhaustive description of a day in the gym, but it was necessary to paint the picture of how events on this particular day differed, and perhaps you can help me make sense of what happened next. 

I was done, two hours and twenty-eight minutes later after initially entering the gym. I went to the locker room to wash my hands and retrieve my jacket. I left the gym. Walked to my car, and discovered I had forgotten my water bottle.  

Irritated at such a mistake, I went back inside, and looked around the gym. The bottle was nowhere in sight. I was heading back to the locker room when it happened . . .