That zoo, however, is what helped write my book, Treadmill Tales: The Hilarious, Ridiculous, Sometimes Mind-Boggling Things People Do While Working Out. In honor of Martin Luther King Day and all of the sweaty balls of chaos improving themselves today, here are who excerpts from that book. After your workout today, go home and take a hot shower, then order your copy! Put it on you Kindle app and take the laughs with you.
Lost in the Looking Glass
Romance happens in all places, and the object of our desire can blind us to our surroundings. One day, when I least expected it, I watched a man fall in love.
There were smiles and gasps. Quick glances and longing stares. While I don't know the full history of this couple's story, it was clear the love and affection between the two of them was real. A knight in shining armor, or in this case sweaty armor.
Our hero was sharing that special moment ... with his reflection.
They stood at the mirror, flexing their muscles, captivated by each other. The little smirk on the corner of his mouth showed just how much he was enjoying this moment. While lifting weights to work those precious deltoids, he moved closer to the mirror just to get a better look at the object of his affection.
Then the moment came. With one eyebrow raised and a knowing look, he winked. And sure enough, that man in the reflection winked back at exactly the same time. They knew they were beautiful, and no one was going to separate them.
Never were two lovers so attuned to each other.
As I stood back lifting my own weights, I almost felt like I should leave them alone. Was I intruding on their bliss? They didn't even notice I was there. I had encountered men before who stood at that same mirror, spreading their feather like a proud peacock. They also were so enthralled with those muscles they've worked so hard for that everyone else is simply scenery.
I wish them well. May they live a long, happy, mentally stable life together.
There are certain things that are generally accepted at the gym that may not be as welcome other places, such as the office or other public places. Smelling a little funky, for example, or sweating through your clothes. Grunting while lifting heavy objects is another one. Winking at yourself in the mirror.
No, wait, that last one is still weird.
Something else that could be added to this category is heavy breathing. We all do it while working out, and it is perfectly acceptable at the gym.
"What! Not me!" you say? Yes, even you.
At some point during our workouts, almost everyone has a moment where they're sucking wind like a tornado blowing through a windmill-dotted cornfield. Our bodies need that precious oxygen to do the work its attempting.
Because of this, I didn't blink an eye when I heard a guy one morning breathing heavily while sitting on one of the shoulder press machines. He was clearly pushing himself hard, working those precious muscles, because I could hear him exhale through gritted teeth. It kept making sort of a whistling sound. As I got up from the equipment I was using, however, I looked over at him and noticed something surprising.
He wasn't pressing anything. He was just sitting ... and breathing.
My first thought was that maybe he just finished a hard set. He's catching his breath, that’s all. But as I lingered, he kept doing it. Over and over again, and never prepared for another set. This wasn't just regaining oxygen to slow his heart rate back down, either.
He seemed to be practicing.
Now, I'm all for people making sure that they are executing all elements of their workout properly. Good form helps bring good results. But I can only think of one scenario where heavy breathing needs to be properly planned out and rehearsed, and that’s preparing for childbirth.
To be fair, I don't know this gentlemen's medical status. There could be circumstances I am unaware of. I didn't see a baby bump, but he could simply be in his first trimester. Having carried two children myself, I carried both of them high so never looked as far as long as I was. It's an option.
However, judging from the details in front of me, like, oh, I don't know ... HE'S A GUY, I'm going to make the assumption that he, at least at that moment, was not "with child".
Apparently my winded friend simply takes his oxygen intake very seriously. Or maybe he just likes to whistle through his teeth. There is always the possibility that the carbon dioxide in the room simply needed to be circulated. If that's the case, I'm glad someone is on top of that one.
Keep practicing, my winded friend. The air we all breathe depends on it.
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