I noticed him first about a week ago when I was warming up: a small, trim, well-muscled man probably in his sixties, with light black skin and neat grooming, attired in a cutoff muscle shirt reading “Drug Free Sports” and the kind of wide-striped gym baggies they used to sell about twenty years ago. A lifer. I like to see those.
I almost caught his eye to chat when I found we were crisscrossing through the Hammer plate loaded equipment, though like everyone else, he was wearing those damn earbuds that have made casual social interaction a quaint relic of the past.
Then he burped. Deeply, sonorously, and it seemed unthinkingly, the way you blink.
“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” I responded. The earbuds: he didn’t notice.
Shortly after he burped again. And again. He burped while loading plates and stripping the bar. He burped walking along the aisles between the equipment.
I passed him again today. Shortly thereafter I heard the same robust, melodious, unselfconscious burp.
I Googled “uncontrollable belching” and found that there are people who do exhibit it pathologically and idiopathically, and don’t leave the house because they’re so embarrassed by it. Lifters are a different animal though. We really do not care as long as we get to the gym.
No one else seems to mind, happily for him. After some of the places I’ve worked out, my gross-out threshold is way above this, but it can make you jump.