Healthy Habits, Unhealthy Competition
So, Miss Sugar has me going to the gym with her the past couple weeks. I am enjoying it. I have spent time in gyms before. It is a healthy habit to exercise.
It is not so healthy to go with my inherent attitude. There is something wrong with me. I will explain.
When I get on a weight machine, whatever the previous user set the weight at, I will increase it, or try to anyway.
When I am on the elliptical machine or a pedaling machine of any type that has a screen showing time, or a setting for difficulty, or miles, or r.p.m.s, I peek at the screen of the person next to me, whether it is a college kid or someone my advanced age. That is sick. I try to beat them. I do not always win, but I always compete.
When in the pool, even if an old lady is swimming in the lane next to me, I try to see how many times I can lap her.
In the steam room, I try to stay in longer than my companions. No one cares but me. No one is impressed. It is personal goal-setting. No one knows what I am doing. They are not competing with me.
However, now they will know because at the club there is a board showing records for pull-ups, push-ups, dips, sit-ups, bench press, dead lift, even mile run. With my bum knees, I concede that the mile run record is out of my reach, and probably dead lift; however, I am aiming to break the push-up record first. You are thinking — How arrogant! How delusional! You might be right.
Regardless, I talked to the college kid working at the front desk about how to get on the board. One of the personal trainers on staff has to witness the feat. I asked him who Lucas is, the current record holder. I was told that Lucas is a stud. I replied, “Don’t tell Lucas that I plan to set a new record.” The kid did not laugh, which was polite of him. I was wearing a Senior Olympic tee shirt. I guess I looked like a stud too. I could see it in his eyes.
I kinda feel sorry for Lucas, but afterall, it is a dog eat dog world. As the Old West gunfighters acknowledged, there is always someone faster. This will be a good life lesson for Lucas. I am gunning for him. As Muhammed Ali said before a fight, “I pity the fool.”