Wait Long Enough And Everything Comes True

When I was a schoolkid, if someone came along and asked someone else “What’re you doing?”, and Kid #2 wanted to be a snotty little bastard, as most kids do in my experience, the smartass answer was often “Playing tiddlywinks with manhole covers.”

Striking image, anyway.

Today I was upside-down on the glute-ham bench, counterweighting the move with a 45-pound plate, which gym rats are likely as not to call a “sewer lid,” and when I tossed it aside to do a few more reps with no weight it spun on its edge, walked and pinked the edge of another plate that was lying there, enough to budge it anyway, finally gyrating to rest against the frame of the bench.

I wonder if you could plane down the edge of one of those things enough to get a good tiddly snap.

The Return of the Bench

I don’t know if I’m disturbed about this, or disturbed that I am not more disturbed.

I spent the early part of the week beset by two anxieties: that my bank wouldn’t cough up a document critical to a nearly $200K financial instrument, and that the glute-ham bench, a piece of equipment for which there are no substitutes, had been permanently snookered from my gym. I invert myself on this thing daily, usually clutching a 45-pound plate, before throwing every muscle on the back of my body into a dispute with gravity, and the sensation — compounded of spinal therapy and sheer will — is like no other.

Of the two, the financial clusterfuck was easier to face with equanimity.

Fortunately banks delivered and, Wednesday, the bench reappeared — painted, thank Goddess, not the Easter-egg purple and yellow combination beloved of my gym, but a sober black and white. Not that I cared. They could paint it pink as long as they brought it back.

I flung myself on it, kissed it, wedged myself between the pads and seized a sewer-lid plate. A cartaliginous, succulent  sound of decompression issued from my mid-thorax; I paused a moment to savor it before going into full extension with the plate hugged to my chest.

The rest of my life is made bearable by these moments I spend engaged with the romances of pressure and traction, much as I imagine an electron thrives in the moments of  tension between its nucleus and the nearest other electron shell in the vicinity. Dante said that Love moved the sun and the other stars, and probably would have invoked the same cause for the movement of subatomic particles had he known about them.

I love my bench.

Fairy Dust

So I was nearly through my workout and walked over to where the glute-ham bench usually is and it wasn’t.

glutehamThis thing is my butt buster, end-of-workout chiropractor, and gratuitous showoff platform since I get the best bang from holding a 45-pound sewer lid while I’m head down on it. Back goes pop, thunk, crackle.  Not having it isn’t an option. Knowing that the Barney-colored corporate entity that assimilated my gym, kind of like the Borg, periodically snakes one or another “intimidating” piece of equipment, I turned to claw the scapula of our favorite trainer, the P-man, pointing in cold panic at the empty space.

“Oh shit,” he said, clearly as puzzled and horrified as I was.

“Oh shit,” said Lou, his training partner.

“Shall we all go ask the manager?” I said.

“Yeah, you should ask him,” said the P-man.

It turned out they were having it painted. There was some babble about it being scarred by plates banging against it but mainly, this place has been painting all the old equipment their signature shade of purple, powder coated with gold fairy dust fired into the finish. You know? Like sparkly nail polish?

I went back to report to the P man, who was getting even edgier because now we could see that six of the eight welded barbells were missing too.

As we stood there one of the gym functionaries appeared, as if on cue, to return them to their rack. Painted.

I shit you not, kimosabe.