I had a couple of quarters loaded and was just retrieving my belt when some unfamiliar yokel wearing earbuds got between me and the squat rack. We made the eye contact that characterizes simultaneous approaches to a piece of loaded equipment: “You workin’ here?” he asked. He was a little taller than me and solid, about forty-something, I guess; not quite young enough to be my son, in other words, but probably too young to remember Watergate.
“Work in if you want,” I said. “I swap off with leg curls.” Leg curls are for me a painful, meditative experience like firewalking, owing to an old charley horse in my right biceps femoris, so there is plenty of time for the average bozo to knock out a set while I am doing them.
Bozo smiled indulgently. “Oh, I’m doing squats and deadlifts so I’d have to be changing the weight,” he said, all but patting me on the head. “It’s okay.” About that time the guy who was using the only other rack cleared off, so Bozo popped right over without breaking stride. Probably lucky for him.
I cranked up and got to work while he warmed up with a series of kickbacks. After a while I looked over. He had a pair of quarters loaded on the bar.
After another while, as I was swapping up to the forty-five pound wheels, I looked over again. Bozo was also working with a pair of wheels. I wanted to go over and comment that it was a good thing he had found a rack free so he wouldn’t have to change up from my weights, and all, but there is no point in being smarmy.
Eventually he got up to deadlifts with one-eighty-five, which is a handsome effort and not one I have any plans to duplicate, but I was long off the rack by then.
When I left he was popping out reps with the sled, the one you see at the top of this page loaded for my last set, using a couple of plates on each side. Well, fair for a cooldown. I did think of asking how many sets he had just to see if he’d offer to strip it for me.
I need moments like this, weeks when I’ve been feeling frazzled.
Old lady’s still got it.