Wednesday, August 10, 2011
At the Gym
Initially we did not acknowledge each others' presence. We would pass each other in the narrow hallway leading to the dressing room and barely make eye-contact, let alone speak. But, as time passed, and we became accustomed to seeing each other, we smiled and said hello.
I work out in a part of the gym that is fairly secluded. There are two areas with free weights - one below by the front door, and another at the back and up some stairs. I always went to the back, mainly because it tended to have less people. One warm June day, he showed up in my section, and we began working out side-by-side in front of the banks of mirrors.
The first time this happened, we barely spoke. But the second time, he put down his weights after a set, wiped his brow and stood there, watching me lift. As I completed my set, and put down my weights, he smiled. "You're looking good, man,"he said.
I smiled back and mentioned that I thought he was looking pretty damned good too. I was wearing an old baggy pair of gym shorts, a gray T shirt that said "Wrestling" across the front, and my wrestling shoes. My typical gym attire. He noticed and motioned to my shoes.
"What kind of shoes are those?"
"Really? Do you wrestle?"
"Yeah," I nodded.
"I don't really wrestle, but I do grapple," he said, apparently not realizing that grappling and wrestling were pretty much the same thing.
"Oh yeah?" I turned toward him and asked where he grappled. It turned out he was a member of a local MMA gym - one to which I also belonged - and he'd been taking lessons off and on for about two months. He really liked it. I told him that I was a member of that gym, and asked if he'd like to try working out together some time. To make a long story short, he said he would and we agreed to meet up at the MMA gym the following night.
To be continued...