Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “competition”

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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