Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Gym Again

I worked out (well, curled a few weights) for the first time in weeks this past Friday afternoon. Yesterday, I could hardly straighten my arms. And, following doctor’s orders, I didn’t curl anything heavier than a 10-pound dumbbell which, at the time, felt as if I was lifting practically nothing. But since I have neither a medical degree, nor the 16 plaques hanging on my wall like Dr. Nelson does, I stuck with the 10 pounds. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, I tell myself. The good thing about is it that THIS time, my Rome is already a major city and not the squalored shanty town it was when I first began lifting weights 5 years ago.

It was February 2000. The end of the last millennium had approacheth and I found myself single after two and a half years. Ex#3 and I had split up back before Christmas, New Year’s Eve had come and gone and I was pretty sick of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I had wanted to join a gym for a few years. It was in my initial plan when I first moved to DC in 1995. Back then I bought a few weights to lift in my bedroom in order to get enough muscle on me so that I could then join a gym with confidence. If you’ve never worked out before, the hardest thing in the world to do is find the courage to walk into a gym that first time where everyone already looks perfect. I still applaud anyone with the courage to do that.

I joined Gold’s Gym then and basically learned by watching. I bought tons of muscle mags to learn technique, and I used to watch World Wide Wrestling on TV to psych myself up before going to the gym (you gotta admit, those boys can really pump the adrenaline). Within 5 months, I had dropped about 20 pounds but gained tons of confidence. I massed up pretty early and based on my genetic code I have been able to maintain my size by going to the gym just twice a week.

And now I start again. I am my own personal New Orleans, waiting for the water to subside so I can get in there and start rebuilding. But this time, it’s not important what size I am, or how big I get again. This time it’s about health – being healthy, not having the biggest arms in the room; being fit, not comparing myself to other men; and being nourished, not eating anything just to keep the size up. I will always be a big guy, that’s just who I am.

But I think I may have been cured of my


  1. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Good to see that you are gaining back some normalcy of life.

    Now my one moment to generate my own blog on this topic.......

    Your last full paragraph caught my attention - about rebuilding but doing it for the right reasons. Think it goes beyond what you have described. And perhaps even moreso in circumstances similar to your case, I think there is an obligation about looking beyond the physical self and working on the inner self (in the manner that one presents himself and in the way one is ultimately perceived by others as a human). As you have mentioned in several articles in some form or another, you've been blessed with another chance in life to evolve even further as a person.

    Don't mean to get on my soap box, but guess I am a point where I am frustrated with how individuals present themselves within the gay community. These past three weeks or so have only made me wonder more this community, especially as I went into the start of this period with ' my heart on my sleeve, ' excited, etc. It's easy to watch people generate this 'image' but disappointing when they don't live up to it. Why are people so damn afraid to communicate, be honest, and to share what it is that is on their minds ( on this last item: I have more respect for the person that can do this, tackfully of course,even if it may be uncomfortable rather than being blown off).

    I only recently started back on my ole' exercise and lifting regiment. While I am doing it for myself, I will admit that a good chunk of it is being done to release some of the anger/frustration I have for what I've just shared.

    Feel like getting up on that soap box and shouting, "I'm here! I am a genuine person. Look beyond those damn 'first impressions' and inherent desires to place someone into, 'he is/ he is not my type' classification. You might be missing out on something or someone special."


    And now I step down from my soap box.

    Dop - a continued speedy recovery.


  2. If I have to read one more diatribe by some self-absorbed middle-aged , caucasian, butt hound I will throw up. Obviously staying alive might take precedence over lifitng weights so you can look moronic while wearing a leather harness at the latest circuit party. YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!

  3. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>To the Anonymous person (second entry/9:24am ) ---

    I've seen you comment responses before and your bigotry/hate comments are uncalled for. Land yourself somewhere else away from this site. And TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT YOUSELF.

  4. "Obviously staying alive should take precedence over lifting weights" Dop, I have had a chronic metabolic disorder for a long time, and lifting has preserved my health, and very likely my life.

    It seems that when people let emotional bigotry take over, they fail to make sense. Another response from outside the community.