Today at the gym, as I started the weight circuit I noticed there was a man – about seven machines ahead of me at the Tricep Bondage Machine. He was facing the machine standing stock still.
Since it was ungodly early, and I was feeling cranky, I paid no attention to him. I did the exercise that turns my legs into rubber bands – and moved onto the next machine. As I strengthened my knees and tried to remember if I did repetitions of 8, 10, or 12 I heard a loud crash and exhaling of air. I thought it was kind of stupid for the guy to put so much weight on the tricep machine, but, whatever floats your boat, right?
Then I moved onto yet another torture device. I think this one works to make my ankles look slimmer. When I use it, instead of facing the windows, I face the group of machines behind me. In other words, I was staring at Tricep man. And Tricep man was just standing there – staring at his machine. His look was SO intense he almost had a meditative air about himself.
Finishing my reps on the ankle sliming machine, I moved onto yet ANOTHER MACINE. I figure that’s why it’s called a circuit. It means you move FROM one thing TO another. I used another four machines, and noticed that Tricep Man WAS STILL AT THE TRICEP MACHINE. He had a system down. Stare at the machine. Mount the machine. Breathe deeply. Use the machine once while grunting. Step away from the machine and stare at it again.
Finally, there was just one exercise left to do before the Tricep machine. I’d decided I’d just skip it instead of disturbing him. Once again, he was just standing there, staring at it. I don’t know. Maybe he was hoping to communicate with it. Figure out it’s mystery. Or convince himself he could do more than one repetition at a time. Maybe it had spoken back to him and he was looking at it in disbelief. I just knew I didn’t want to come between the two.
As I finished my rep (I looked at my sheet – they’re supposed to be of 12) on the arm curl, he grabbed his towel and walked away in disgust.
I switched the weight on the machine and used it. It performed admirably. 12 times. Up. Down. Then it allowed me to pause. Then I did another 12. Up, down. And I left the machine. He returned and once again just stared at it.
As I finished up my three sets of 30 gut crunchers he used the machine again. Deep breath, grunt, lift, clatter, exhale, dismount and stare.
I wanted to offer him some pointers on getting more than one rep in, but decided it was best to not step into the lover’s quarrel, so I came home. I hope he’s not still there – trying to become one with the machine tomorrow morning.