Ok, before you begin reading this, be ye forewarned, it gets dark. With that, we can begin…
My workouts have ceased to be “happy” times. I no longer smile and lovingly bob my head or “funk it out” when working out. For what it’s worth, they’ve served their purpose back in the day. But for what I seek these days, well, I had to quote Agent Smith in “The Matrix Reloaded”:
That’s right. I craved more. I needed a new high, a sharper spark, a new stimulus (well, I need that check too).
…and I DID find it. That new and unique source of energy.
That’s right. Pure, unadulterated fury. I took a tip from the dark side and I let the hate flow through and consume me.
How did THAT happen? How did that guy who was the life of the gym party become someone I don’t recognize anymore? Why is his gaze a focused one: silent, bereft of joy and kindness? No longer the smiling giant who greeted everyone in sight, encouraging all and creating laughter during unexpected moments.
Well, I suppose I could blame it on the stranger that I met one day while jamming to “Pumpin’ It Up” by The P. Funk All-Stars. She approached me while I was singing and unashamedly groove-stepping between sets of Incline Dumbbell Extensions.
Ok, before you ask, no, this is not going to end like the other “Gym Tale: The Blow Out!” (Click the link and it will open in another window for a different, more humiliating story.)
Without so much as a “hello”, she accused me of not being “angry enough”. I jokingly countered that she was an evil influence, to which she proudly replied, “GOOD! I hope you hate me TOO! You can pray about it later.”
God only knows what made her angry enough to have that approach and I want to feel bad for her. But fine as she was, it appears to have worked. WELL.
Soon after, I began to notice her more in the gym. Normally, I would have hidden from her to avoid future criticism in the form of a reprimand or vice-versa. On the contrary, instead of running from her, we work out together when we’re both there. We don’t plan meetups, but when she sees me, she comes over and spurs me on and I try to do the same in return. I’d love to believe that she thinks I’m sexy, but it’s more likely that I’ve become a pet project to her. Hey, I ain’t complaining. What started out as a “one night standing calf raise” has become a “secret lunge affair” (that’s all folks – you assume too much).
Interestingly enough, we don’t even know each other’s names.
But like I always say, whatever works. And it does…
And what were my sources of ignition? Well, what are anyone’s sources these days? It ain’t hard to find them: Financial problems, unemployment, bad jobs, poor health, politics, racism, COVID-19, police brutality, family issues, death, betrayal, unrequited love, lost friendships…
So yeah, as much as I have to be grateful about in my life, I’ve also got plenty to get me apoplectically irate.
And though people say it’s not healthy to focus on the negative, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t amp up my efforts.
Am I recommending it? Nope. But it works for me. At age 53, with my damaged health and battered RoboPop body parts, I hear “you better take it easy” more than anything else. Still, it’s my motivation.
As for you, do you – whatever works.
Just know that if you see me a year from now, 100 lbs. lighter, rippling with old man muscles and thick veins in my neck, tell everybody how cool I looked in my suit, resting in my coffin at the funeral…
…because I probably popped a major blood vessel in my booty to get there.