Down here in my basement, I have this little secret trapped in a corner under a pile of basement rubble, lonely and scared. The last time I used it, my body got tight, erect, and veiny. Things bulged that normally don’t. I perspired. I grunted. In the end, I lost all respect for it by the time I headed upstairs. I haven’t used it in months.
I’m talking about my work out bench, sickos. (Everyone knows that a gimp goes in a trunk and not “under a pile of basement rubble”, sheesh.)
I have a Joe Weider work out bench in the corner of my basement. I may be the only person in America who still knows who Joe Weider is. He created the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest and, thus, unintentionally created the amateur Mr. Douchebag contest in gyms all across North America. We can also thank him for The Jersey Shore, I’m sure. I can’t say for sure but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s also responsible for baggy, multi-colored gym pants:
Ugly gym pants? Check. Tiger shirt? Check. Is that a fanny pack? Check. The trifecta! Congrats, dude.
Mrs. Nitmos bought me the Weider work out “system” nearly twenty years ago. In the early 90’s, it was fashionable to get all pumped up and veiny and wear these horrific multi-colored baggy pants. MOAR tiger stripes the better! Back then, Schwarzenegger was still a huge star. Stallone had already made Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot so his career was basically over but muscles were generally IN. Hilariously, I would pump some iron and then, in between reps, step outside for a Camel cigarette. Pathetic, really. I was one pair of tiger stripe gym pants away from being a complete douche. Thankfully, my needle stuck at ¾’s douche.
Until last spring, I’d still use it nearly every week though. You may have noticed lately that my blog posts have come in considerably less mass and definition. My fingers are looking downright anorexic lately. My knuckles are a bit paunchy. I’m hitting the QWERTY keys with less force and authority. Back in my weight lifting peak, the three most common questions I’d get were:
1) Dude, how did you get so ripped?
2) Is there a time when you don’t wear a tank top?
3) Why are you carrying a trident?
Over the years, I transitioned from weight lifting heavier things to lower weight but higher reps. This would also be the time I moved from playing basketball regularly to running. An extra ten pounds of muscle helps when taking elbows in the middle of the back from a 6’5” behemoth in the paint; it doesn’t do so well in a marathon. In fact, a few years back, I started moving from straight weight lifting to stretchy banding (memorialized here) and core strengthening. Combine that with the running and I certainly look scrawnier but feel much healthier. Oh, and I don’t smoke Camels anymore. That’s a good tip right there. Put that one in your back pocket.
My Weider sits over there in the corner all sad and lonely under a pile of marathon posters that I’ll probably never hang anywhere. (Why’d I even take them?) I’m quite content with the running, the stretchy bands and the endless core exercises on the living room floor while plowing through episodes of the TWO BEST SHOWS ON TV.* Things have changed a bit since the days of ugly gym pants. Now, the three most common questions I get are:
1) Can you pick my son up for the soccer game?
2) Where did you get those loafers? J.C. Penney?
3) Tell me again why you carry that trident?
With the cold, winter weather rolling in, I was thinking about whipping out my Weider and playing with it a bit. Why not get a little pumped, a little engorged, a little veiny? For purely nostalgic reasons, I may pump it until I’m drained but satisfied. In other words, this winter I may spend a lot more time playing with my Weider.
*Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad. If you ain’t watching them, you ain’t cool. You might as well buy yourself some tiger stripe gym pants and watch Jersey Shore.