Saturday, July 2, 2011
About an Asshole
178.4 lbs. Okay, fourth day in a row. Not thrilled, but that’s not the big deal of the day. Monday, I can do a Monster Burn to my heart’s content.
Yesterday, I didn’t hit the gym for weight training as usual. Number 1, my trapezius muscles have decided to turn to cement over the course of the day (they paid for the rebellion today, trust me) and Number2, I figured if maybe I lulled them into a false sense of security, hitting them with weight training today would so shock them, they’d burn up a lot of fat through whilst holding little muscle group therapy sessions asking each other, “What the hell just happened?” (No, I don’t have a medical degree. Somehow, I don’t think this is much of a surprise.)
Normally, I avoid the gym on Saturday mornings due to the excessive douchebag quotient. The Weekend Warriors are out in force (and Guys, if you’re an investment banker with a baseball cap on backwards and/or tattoos, you’re a double bagger. Investment bankers ARE the establishment and the ones who just crashed the economy. You have no right to wear emblems of rebellion) and the energy in the gym changes subtly from one of people focused on their workouts to one with that is jittery and edgy. However, it is a holiday weekend, there weren’t many folks on the floor when I headed for the weight machines and I figured I’d been given a reprieve from the douchebags.
There are two leg press machines in this gym. One was occupied right before I got there and the other had a sweatshirt, towels and a water bottle next to it. No problem, I thought. I’ll just start with the back press machine. By the time I had completed my sets on the back machine, the one guy was still on his machine and the owner of the detritus next to the other machine hadn’t returned. Since (to me) this behavior is just short of peeing a circle around it to claim it, I picked up said items and moved them to the window sill.
Halfway through my first set, the owner of the stuff came chugging over. I had seen him on the other side of the room talking to someone, so I wasn’t kindly disposed towards this individual. I was focused on what I was doing (Form is everything) and he proceeded to hover like a vulture. I paused for a minute, ignoring the buzz cut buzzard (and he was not doing anything to change my attitude towards him), then proceeded on to my second set. By the time, I finished that one, I had to take my feet off the pads for a minute to let the blood flow back into my legs. He stuck his face in mine (still not helping) and asked to “work in” (if you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s sharing a machine, swapping off between sets). Had he not been a machine hog, I would have acquiesced. However, I was not about to give the Roid Boy what he wanted (BIG upper body, some acne, buzz cut, bad, unfinished tattoos, legs not as developed and I’m thinking nuts the size of Skittles) and told him that “No. You had your chance to complete your workout when you left your stuff to do something else. No.”
His face turned a dark shade of purple and he started screaming, “I had to go get something!”
(No he didn’t)
I said, “You have no right to treat this place as your own personal gym. You can have the machine when I’m done.”
And that’s when he started off with, “Fucking fatty.”
I kid you not.
My response, “Is that the best you’ve got?”
His face turned even darker. Meanwhile, I’m working on my third set of leg presses (and since the muscles were screaming in between sets, I do believe I got their attention). “NO! You’re fat!”
Oh. Local anchorman giving me the news.
“You look like 20 pounds of shit in a 5 pound sack.”
I laughed at him. “Is that supposed to hurt?”
After that, I more or less tuned him out and, in a piece of timing worthy of the movies, my Zune started playing “Battle Without Honor or Humanity.” (Kill Bill, Volume 1. GREAT piece of music). He stood there and kept up a steady stream of (largely unheard) abuse. I heard “fat piece of shit” “ugly the dog wouldn’t play” (Oh, he was recycling “Yo Momma” jokes I haven’t told since I was 12) and something about “hammer.” (You got me).
When I finished my third set (and the leg muscles were still wondering what had just happened to them), I got off the machine and said to him, “You are one sorry ass mother fucker if you hate yourself so much you have to resort to playground taunts to make yourself feel better.”
Needless to say, this did not go over well and I don’t remember any of the rest of his blather, but given what had gone before, it was Variations on a Theme (Projectile Vomiting of Self Loathing) and not the classic “Variations on a Theme by Paganini” (Rachmaninoff). There may have been an offer to “go” out in the garage. Another indicator of possible steroid use.
I continued my workout, to the sound of clanging weight stacks (Again, a piece of evidence arguing towards steroid involvement in the altercation) that he was dropping.
He huffed his way off the floor about 10 minutes later, face still set and purple and, confirmation, the girl he’d been talking to on the other side of the gym went with him.
And I continued with what I was doing because I have bigger fish to fry than some insecure musclehead throwing a tantrum like a thwarted two year old.
By the way, if it was a matter of keeping score, I won. I won because I didn’t let this fucktard and HIS projectile of self-loathing derail me. He was still upset and angry afterwards. I wasn’t. I mean, yeah, I’m reporting it here, but I’m not angry, upset or sad. I think it’s funny as hell (and a comment on American society) that in order to inflict damage, the first thing (without even thinking about it) he went for was the weight. Nothing about what I was wearing, form good or bad, wimpy weights (they weren’t. I leg press over 180 lbs.). Nope. Fucktard stuck with body image.
I could have told him, “You know, I’ve lost over 40 lbs. since January” but I didn’t. Two reasons: 1) that’s none of his damned business and (This is the biggie. Make a note) 2) I didn’t feel the need to defend myself. He was attempting to break me verbally, hurt me, harm me, make me stop what I was doing and he failed. Among other things (thoughts move fast, People), I was thinking “Asshole, I’m here in the gym and working out. Do you really think I’m at a point where you can shame me over my weight?”
If you think of your emotional self, your self-regard, as a tower, consider this: A strong structure will withstand nearly any assault without crumbling. If the tower is not strong, a light wind will knock it down. As this idiot was blathering (while I was counting repetitions because I wasn’t going to overstay my time on the leg machine), I remembered a scene from “Music of the Heart” (Meryl Streep. Movie bacon): Roberta the teacher is showing her students how to stand while playing the violin and talks about “standing strong.” She pushes against one student who is not in correct position. He’s off balance and has to take a quick step. When she realigns his feet to the correct stance and pushes again, he doesn’t move.
I am willing to bet that he’ll be telling his side of this story today, tonight and for a while (probably with alcohol involved. In that case, my weight will balloon up in the telling) and be just as angry as he was this morning.
Yeah, I’m telling the story, but I’m not angry or hurt. I know I have friends among my readers who would say, “I’m so sorry you had to go through that” but I don’t need to be comforted.
I’m telling the story because, if I can believe the stats on my blog, by the end of the week, Roid Boy (He’s about 5’10”, Caucasian, buzz cut sandy hair, mustache (I think), hard face, smallish wire-framed glasses, big upper body, not so big in the legs, looks to be in his mid to late 30s. I pass along this information if you ever visit the same gym I do. It’s in the San Fernando Valley, open all the time, epicenter of the 1994 earthquake) will have an actual worldwide reputation as a muscleheaded asshole.
NEVER screw with a woman who blogs.