Back in the heyday of “Peanuts,” Schulz drew a strip showing Lucy, the perpetual fussbudget, knocking down one of the other small characters on no obvious provocation. “He was standing where I wanted to walk,” she explained. I feel her pain.
The Dreeper was underfoot again this morning when I went in to squat; somehow I’ve been managing to miss him, but when I finished with the warmup bike, dumbbell kata and wrestler’s bridge, there he was athwart the best of the two squat racks, foot up on its lowest rung, hanging on to a higher part of the structure since his inflexible, bloodless sinews would spill him to the floor if he didn’t cling for dear life.
“You squattin or just stretchin?” I said, knowing the answer.
What my balloon said was “You make me puke, shuffling around here and monopolizing every piece of high-load equipment in the place to stretch your creaky old ass.”
This is not ageism on my part, I assure you (Leo, the guy I most like to bust a move with in there, is about the Dreeper’s age). It’s just my allergy to stupid — or self-centered or oblivious, maybe all three. There are only a couple of racks left to us that offer support and injury prevention to people who want to tackle heavy lifts. Once we had three squat racks, a power rack and a deadlift platform, and yes, the Dreeper used to infest them all, but now we’re down to the two squat racks and it’s bad enough that people sometimes use them for arm curls (WTF? but at least it involves hoisting a weight). I can think of 101 more productive ways the Dreeper might try to do something about his wooden hamstrings, especially since he never seems to get less stiff-gaited (he could book an appointment with me, come to think of it, but by this time, the danger is he would end up as origami). He clearly has been around gyms a long time — he actually has a respectable bench for his age group. He just sees no problem with annexing dedicated, specialized equipment for piss-ant purposes, kind of like the reverse of an able-bodied person parking in a handicapped spot.
He hobbled over to the other squat rack and resumed his “stretch.” I resisted the urge to grab him by the neck and shove his face down to his knee like one of those B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Nazis.
If it’s the worst thing that happens to me all week I’m golden, but still, I hate stupid.