You all know Felix, right?
What happened was, I was billy-be-damned if I was going to yield an inch to the anathematous NO DEADLIFTS ALLOWED signs that recently went up at the gym , which would edge me ever closer to bailing on the joint if it were possible to find a real gym in the vicinity any more, which it isn’t. Apparently the redoubtable Mr. P — our senior trainer, and a hardcore lifter of venerable stature — was detailed by management to enforce this rule. This is probably something they elected to tell their corporate masters in a show of compliance with the franchise policy. Mr. P, who once sported a physique right out of the pages of a Batman comic, is pretty much disabled these days owing to a car crash, and tends to park his can on a little-used stack leg press when he isn’t showing some flabby civilian around the circuit equipment. You might as well ask Martin Luther to enforce canon law.
I tightened up my trusty belt, seized two thirty-five-pound dumbbells from the rack, and dropped into the stiff-legged jackknife of a full deadlift. Fuck that Romanian shit, hung for a sheep, hung for a goat. The dumbbells came close to hitting my shoetops; if my feet hadn’t been in the way I could have let ’em drop another six inches, but you go to war with the Army you have. I got a good fourteen reps out of the first set, along with the interesting revelation that staying centered between two respectable weights (think a couple of old IBM typewriters) forced a remarkable task of stabilization on the muscles governing my center of gravity.
My left obliques, the ones that have been recruited to circumduct my left leg during its tedious recuperation from fascial blowout, sang to me for the next few days, and they did not sing fleeting interludes of Top Forty crap, they sang Wagner and Verdi. But after that my leg was longer and went into stance phase without recrimination. I covered four miles of hills in an hour.
Mr. P has agreed never to see what I do with the dumbbells. Today I did it right in front of the wretched sign. No one said anything.