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