keep your expectations low and i will rise to the occasion.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

heavy lifting = gear shifting?!

ok i swear im not dwelling on this... but i noticed something at the gym today.

i think people drive the way they workout.

i did some observations today while at the gym, while in the parking lot and while driving on I-395. and it all kind of fell into place.

lets go through some of the observations i made and you decide if you agree or not. if you do, thats super! if not, that might just mean i may have hit a little too close to home. either way, its all in good fun! be a drifter and relax...

type 1:
the drifter
this is the person that moseys through the gym without a care or a clue. they may spend up to half their time just walking around the gym seeing whats going on. if they pick a machine, they may stare at machines like its whispering something and if they stare at it long enough, they somehow will figure out how to use it. they also take up to 5 minutes between sets(normal is about 30 seconds to 2 minutes according to Men's Health).

drive style: they are the ones who go just at the speed limit or maybe 5 below. they seem to be on the road for the mere pleasure of feeling their tires on the open road and tend to be drift from lane to lane without much caution. turn signal!? hah! those are for the faint of heart... everyone can see my 1995 buick, they know im moving over. even the loud sudden use of a horn will hardly crack the carefree shell of these folks. life is good... unless they are in your way.

type 2:
the hesitator
these folks, like the aforementioned drifter, are not totally sure what they are supposed to be doing but are not carefree about it. in fact, its the exact opposite! they are so nervous that they creep up to a machine as if it will snap at them if there are any sudden movements and if someone else approaches the machine, they give in without question, turning away as if they were not just staring at the machine for the last 2 minutes. these people spend a lot of time being inquisitive but when the time comes to either go for it or walk away, 9 times out of 10, no attempt is made. they know a handful of exercises and they stick to that.

drive style: they are those who hate the high ways. they like the roads they know and get extremely nervous in uncharted territory. speed is bad because quick decisions are essential and they dont like to be rushed. they are the lane changers that spend 30 seconds with the blinker on waiting for all cars within 50 feet to fall back and make way for their toyota prius and god forbid there is a merge lane. these people will inevitably end up on the shoulder stopped because they never ended up moving over and out of the merge lane that just ended and are continuing to try to merge with traffic moving at about 60 mph. someone may be a little late to the dinner party...

type 3:
the agitator
this person works out and they are on a mission. this person may be similar to the guy i described in my earlier blog. they get into the gym and its game time. there is a plan. there is a schedule. both will be adhered to without question. if there is something in the way, you will know about it along with half the gym. these people work out with attitude and have an unusual amount of aggression when performing an act of leisure or personal well-being. this person works in a cubicle during the day and they are training for a gold medal at the 2014 olympics at night. they are not to be disturbed.

drive style: road rage. these people honk a lot. they give out the finger like its halloween and everyone on the road wants some candy. they curse. they speed. they cut people off. they tailgate. they flash their lights. they will pass a car on a residential street because they are going 20 mph. "but officer, i thought she was parked" "compared to your 96 mph, she was buddy. out of the red camaro, you're coming downtown."

type 4:
the smooth operator

this individual enters the gym with a plan. usually expressionless but not mad or shy or seem to have some frustration. they are just going to put their head down and get through their routine. if their machine is taken, they might ask if they can work in or immediately begin reformatting their workout and come back to it later. they tend to prep machines in advance of actually using it, between sets of another exercise. these people also tend to come with a friend and may pause for a second or two to talk but the true use of the friend is to push them to work harder. they are courteous but on a schedule and will adjust to the situation to make sure everything gets done.

drive style: they might speed a bit but they are the normal turn signal users who are not scared of merging but also wont tailgate someone for going only 10 over the speed limit. they tend to hang out in the middle lanes and wont venture into the hyper aggressive fast lane unless its to leisurely pass someone. they have the windows down and listen to music. driving is an adventure but with purpose.

type 5:
the socializer

they go to the gym to work out... sure. but they split their time evenly between that and chatting with their buddy. its a cool down from life. in the gym there are no phones so you are disconnected, work cant reach you and thank god. now they can talk to their buddy about what went down last weekend or whats the plan for the evening. they get their work out done... in 2 and a half hours. there is no rush. nothing at home but the real world and who wants that! unless there is a happy hour, they are straight chillin at the gym. talking at the front desk with all your new friends that are paid to be nice to you for 30 minutes. hanging out by the water fountain making new friends one water bottle fill up at time. just saw someone you havent seen in years?! hope they cleared their schedule because no workout is as important as trying to discuss the last 4 years of your life, breathing awkwardly heavy and sweating profusely.

drive style: texting with one hand, high-fiving someone in the back seat and a knee on the steering wheel. these social butterflies are always looking for a good conversation and cannot wait for the next one. phone calls from the road. texts. updating facebook status while doing 70mph on a major highway. no phones in the district while driving?! you bastards! thank you bluetooth!

now i know what youre thinking - ...inquire within... what kind of type do you most fall into???

great question: the answer is im probably between a type 3 and 4. im aggressive but passive. i have a plan and get frustrated when i cannot adhere to it but i move on and adapt. i drive the same way. im aggressive sometimes and more carefree others. those that have driven with me... have mentioned... on occasion... that im a bit aggressive but its only because time is of the essence! you cant fault me for that! besides, we were only 10 minutes late instead of 20... there is something to be said for that!

...i do honk an awful lot though... and i love it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

when old nerdy guys attack!

while my good buddy is writing about the new health care bill (i disagree with his views but i love him regardless...), im going to tell you a cautionary tale. one filled with action, suspense and to be frank, pity.

today began like any other mid-march morning at 6am. it was dark out, the birds were doing their often imitated whistle/shivering chatter as those early northbound movers began second guessing their potential premature trek north. and of course my younger brother, aka my newest roommate bursting into my room with "get up! time for the gym!"

my brother gets real pumped about legs day so there we go! fulfilling our morning ritual of pre-8am gym regimen. it offers a great opportunity to hang out and catch up a bit on the last 24 hours. we have completely different schedules so without this... i may never see the little guy!

so there were are... wrapping up our abdominal workout so we could get to the much anticipated legs part of our program. we are discussing the ramifications of the new health care plan and at the same time doing the rotary machine which focuses on the obliques. i mean come on!? who doesnt want to get rid of their love handles! so there we were, love handle destroying away and minding our own business. then as if there was a whack-a-mole popping out of the floor, a male, 50 something, tall, medium build, thinning but scraggly (best word to describe it... even though its not a word) hair, a low hanging blue tank top with over eager chest bridging the gap between the collar and his neck and short red runner shorts pops up and says "hey! how many sets you guys have left!?"

being that we just got on the machine... and my brother was in between rep 4 and 5... my brother responded abruptly, matching the guy's tone "we got 2 each."

the look of disgust was very apparent. but at the end of the day... its an oblique machine. most people dont even bother with them and just do some crunches and go for a run. this guy though... loves his obliques. i mean... his face was like a kid running downstairs to the christmas tree and instead of presents, seeing a miner, complete with hard hat and shovel, eating a doughnut with one leg up on a pile of freshly delivered coal. "merry christmas kid. you guys got a bathroom 'round here?" not pleased.

but not our problem... or so we thought. we continue to do our sets... we are not racing to finish but we are continuously doing the workout. no lolly-gagging for us. after 3 sets, my brother is about to start the last one. the conversation regarding health care continues on. and then, then captain stick-up-his-ass appeared out of nowhere and boy oh boy was he pissed. he then spoke and it was so shocking to hear him raise his voice that i froze in shock. a couple things you have to take into account...

1. no one talks at the gym. everyone has headsets or is just "in the zone."
2. its 7:15am. who has the energy to raise their voice?! its bad enough we are all killing ourselves at the gym.
3. who gets mad about two guys using an oblique machine!?!? i cant stress how never used this machine is... and all of sudden there is a 40 car pile up...

i will provide with as close to an accurate quote as possible so you grasp the magnitude of the brief but thought provoking conversation.

"you two are so rude!!! i ask you how many sets you have left!! and then you are here talking!?!? you dont even give a shit!! you are so fucking rude!! i cant even fucking believe it!!"

the scene was made. he made it. i was shocked. we had not stopped doing our sets to just chat... in fact, we were moving pretty quick to get downstairs so my brother could get to the legs workouts. my shock was complimented by my brother who was stone face and calm, simply responded to the guy "ok!" in a slightly condescending tone and then continued with his set as if the man had just asked him for the time.

it was classic. im pretty sure i saw his aorta pop of his chest and if it werent for the canopy of chest hair, may have punched my brother right in the face. he stormed off and settled for another set of angry, poor-formed biceps curls.

so we finish with the machine and walk away... chuckling a bit. half because what the hell!? and the other half because i knew it would only piss him off. as we walk towards another machine, to complete our abs workout, he makes his way toward the machine, lumbering like a bear stalking a tree to mark it as his own, and sits down.

he does one set. one. he was on it for 25 seconds. then got up and continued to do all the other machines in the immediate area.

my brother and i discussed the ridiculousness of the situation for the remainder of the morning and actually laughed out loud several times. this gentleman will be a source of enjoyment each time we venture to the gym and want to use the abs machine. i fully expect another outburst and this time i will be ready with quick retort that may end in a full out brawl but totally worth it.

so moral of the story: beware! there are what i like to call "gym warriors" who have similar characteristics to roid ragers but instead of steroids, its the metamucil mixed with excessive amounts of protein that causes their ferocity. they tend to be over-enthused, make loud and uncomfortable noises when doing basic workouts and usually older adults who have a significant amount of unearned entitlement when it comes to anything in the gym because they took three personal training sessions. whether its a treadmill, an ab machine, a floor mat or a water fountain, these post-mid-life-crisis-enjoying folks will go for the jugular. be prepared. best course of action is to say something quick and funny and then go about your business like they dont exist. it will drive them crazy and give you a large amount of personal satisfaction.

so just be safe out there... and if you see someone that fits the profile of colonel asshole that accosted my brother and i described above, just make sure you get to the ab machine first. and then tell me about how pissed he got. you will easily make my day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

do you know what they do to whales in jail?!

its wonderfully glorious outside... minus the whole rain thing. so with that in mind... i found this little gem today online. i cant figure out whether this is funny or not but i have watched it 3 times and i like it a little more each time. just as a disclaimer, some language may not be suitable for work.

nothing like a video about a "depressed whale" to kick off your week.