Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

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.”  

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6 thoughts on “Healthy Habits, Unhealthy Competition

  1. “One of the personal trainers on staff has to witness the feat.” I was thanking maybe you should call in Guinness book of world records to observe, document, and publish your record…. Make sure you are wearing the Senior Olympic T shirt and you have to figure away for Beau to get in the competition…. Maybe he can set on your back as you are breaking the record…

    • Sugar is a good cheerleader for me. On the way out of the gym today, I told the same kid at the desk that Lucas’ record is still intact today. Sugar jumped in and said proudly, “Al will break the record. You should have seen him swimming at the National Finals for the Senior Olympics.” The kid kindly said that he did not doubt it. Now the pressure is on. Beau is not invited.

  2. Good luck to you, sir, in your quest to set a record and have Ms. Sugar there to kiss you when you do. But perhaps you should be glad my 5’7″ son is here in SoCal, very far away from your gym and Lucas… He benches 400#… and who knows how many pushups.

    But he loves dogs. 🙂

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