By Ken "Skip" Hill
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. (Yes, a Charles Dickens reference, I’m deep like that). This is the time of the year that we all bitch about the New Year’s Resolutioners. The fatties that come into the gym with the proclamation that they are going to get into the best shape of their lives…. again…. this year. This is a story of two such fatties at the gym I train at, here in Colorado.
It is the first week of 2012 and as I pull into the gym you can bet your ass there will be very few parking spots and it is even worse for me because I drive a lifted and obnoxious F250 Powerstroke. If it sounds manly it’s because it is. Clearly, I am making up for other physical shortcomings in my life but that is for another Rant at a later date. I manage to find a parking spot (or 4 – because that is what you do when you drive a big truck) and make my way into the gym only to find that it is packed with a ton of people that I have never seen before.
It doesn’t take long for me to be distracted by my first fat ass in the mirror while I am warming up. I know I should be paying attention to my workout and getting warmed up but something about this guy is making me almost stare in disbelief. Unlike most fatties that show up after the New Year this guy has matching gym clothes, a practical gym bag, ipod, chalk, etc.. He pretty much has all of the gym tools that you would expect from an experienced gym-goer. His form seems good and he isn’t trying to lift more weight than is necessary especially considering he is just starting out after the New Year. It almost …. doesn’t fit with this guy being a New Year’s Newbie. He clearly isn’t in great shape and doesn’t really look like he has worked out much in the past but it is hard to tell because he is covered by an Under Armour sweatsuit.
I go back to focusing on my warm up set and I notice not too far off of my shoulder a woman is sitting on a bench messing with her phone like she is on Facebook or something. She doesn’t see that I am looking at her and I notice she is actually very attractive with long, dark hair, dark eyes and pretty big boobs if I might say so myself. She isn’t her ideal weight, for sure, as she could probably stand to lose 30 pounds or so. As hot as she is right now, I have a pretty good idea of how hot she would be minus that extra 30 pounds so now I am staring and having bad thoughts. REALLY bad thoughts.
These two make their way around the gym and get a pretty good workout in. No one says anything to them, not even a nod or much of an acknowledgement, at all. In fact, even a couple teenagers get a giggle out of the fat guy doing nice and controlled reps on dumbbell presses with only 85 pound dumbbells. Those same kids were seen talking about the woman and how she was sitting on the bench messing with her phone when she should be working out. Go figure, kids will be kids.
What those kids didn’t know is that the woman battled Melanoma last year and didn’t workout at all. With the stress of dealing with health issues, her weight got away from her. I think it is safe to say that if you are battling something like melanoma you just aren’t going to be as motivated to go to the gym and eat perfectly. What they also didn’t know is that this woman 3 years ago was on stage and qualified for national competition in only her second figure competition of her life. She wasn’t a figure competitor as much as she was a mother of 4 that decided to take the plunge and see what condition she could get into and compete. It was pretty damned good condition.
When those kids were getting a kick out of the fat guy doing the weaksauce dumbbell presses (stole that word from my teenage daughter), they didn’t know that he is pretty well known in the bodybuilding industry and has competed for over 20 years and trained for almost 30 years. They didn’t know that 3 months ago he injured his back for the 5th time so badly that it kept him out of the gym until now and they didn’t know that this guy is actually known for his condition on stage and always being in great shape even when not competing. This fat ass didn’t have much of an excuse to be fat, though, other than when he doesn’t train regularly, he doesn’t eat well. Hey, we all have our shit, right?
The attractive woman? Yes, she’s my wife of 19 years.
The fat, bald, brown guy in the mirror? You guessed it, that’s me.
My point is that if you think the New Year’s Resolutioners don’t belong in the gym and should be chastised for being out of shape and taking up your space because you live in the gym all year long, be careful that you don’t screw up and mistake a newbie for a veteran. In fact, it might be wise (and fair) to just treat everyone with respect for being in the gym in the first place no matter what time of the year. Even for those that will fail miserably after a month, they deserve the credit for getting in the gym and giving it a fair shot. The gym isn’t for everyone and there are actually functional people that don’t want to spend time in the gym and would prefer to spend that time with their friends or family, instead. And believe me when I say that it is much easier to go to the gym when you are in great shape than it is to go when you aren’t.
I know first-hand, Just Sayin’.