Most of you know by now that the gym I belong to is Planet Fitness, a chain I love, and not only because they have free pizza on the first Mondays of the month and free bagels on the first Tuesday. I also like their Judgment Free Zone concept, and their "Lunk Alarm," which goes off when someone grunts, drop weights, or judges.
Today, there was an Asian guy—skinny and non-muscular, even—with an MP3 player on and ear buds in, who was on a machine in which you sit on a bench, reach forward, and pull some handles attached to weights toward your chest. He started grunting while doing them, and it was funny to watch everyone around him just look at him in disbelief and with various looks of disdain on their faces. An ironic violation of the judgment-free zone, really.
Unfortunately, he was totally oblivious to the rule, and to the reaction of those around him, and he just kept on sounding ridiculous, especially with how loud the grunting got toward the final reps of each of his sets. What was most ridiculous about it was that he really wasn't "lifting" that much weight. Something you realize after not hearing grunting as the norm for most of the time, is that it really is totally unnecessary, and is essentially an attention-getter.
I've been doing the same upper body routine for probably a year now, and I've never thought about the "Vertical Chest Press" in the way that I did today. As I pushed the handles out in front of my chest, perpendicular to the floor, I thought, "This is a horizontal movement. Why is this machine called the 'vertical chest press'?"
I thought about signs in the gym, which seem to be getting more ubiquitous as time goes by, when I moved away from the water fountain to see a guy looking at a nearby sign on the wall that said, "No bandannas, do-rags, skull caps, or beanies allowed. Any hat worn must have a brim." He had on a knit hat that had a soft brim on it, and it looked like he was trying to figure out if he was violating the policy or not.
Not unlike Planet Fitness' ban on dropping weights and grunting, this headwear policy is not without controversy. This man is a "performer" with long hair who "needs" to wear a bandanna. And this man notes, "Q: When is a ski hat not a ski hat? A: When it's on the head of a black man, then it becomes a do-rag."
Last week, my sister mentioned on Facebook that it was her cat's 10th birthday. Since it was just a couple of days before her husband's birthday, I sent both Jeff and Smokey a card. I missed this Facebook status update from my sister on the day the cards arrived, so I'm capturing it now:
|Vivian Covington so loves her big brother who sends Birthday Cards to her cat—just because he knows we LOVE our baby—and I love you, too, bro'.|
I'm not actually following the World Cup beyond seeing news alerts about who won a match, but I follow the blogs of several people who are into it—each for their own reasons. I particularly like my friend bear_left's interest in the game:
I received this heart-warming affirmation in an e-mail from my uncle and aunt whose 50th anniversary I attended over the Memorial Day weekend. I've edited out a paragraph that had some of his health details in it.
At last I was able to read your blog entries. I must say you do things very professionally but enjoyable. Very interesting how your day to day went and of course seeing the beautiful pictures of the anniversary.
God only knows how much seeing you and Lisa has meant to me. I love both of you so much and I pray we can get together again. If I would of been home it would of been so much more fun.
I thanked Lisa for the beautiful picture of her and Annette and I'M sure you had something to do with it. I wish you and Lisa would of taken a picture with Rita & I. How come that never happened ? SO NOW YOU GOT TO COME BACK WITH LISA AND FINISH YOUR JOB.
WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH
UNCLE RENE & AUNTI RITA
My heart is warm.
I met Joe at The Borough at 8:00, where we had dinner using a Groupon. While we were there, some of the "regular Sunday night early crowd at Flex," came over for dinner, too. Rick, Phil, and Joe sat next to us along the wall.
I had the salad special of the day, which was out of this world to me. Joe had the BLT and A.
We ventured over to scareyoke afterwards, and after a little bit Gene joined us. There was a girl there with a great voice who did two songs that I loved. One was I Dreamed a Dream, and I can't remember what the other one was.
In a rare appearance on Sunday night any more, brianrdu was out and I spent a little time talking with him. Someone else talked to me for a little bit, whose most memorable characteristic was ashtray breath.
The bathroom at Flex is a unisex one, since it's usually just men in there anyway. There is a section with three urinals in it, and a back section where the sinks are that has three stalls in it. I always use a stall when I pee there, and tonight I was cognizant of the main criteria I use for choosing which stall I go into. It's whichever one, if any, that has the seat already lifted up so I don't have to touch it, if at all possible.
I left there at about midnight, as I have a dentist appointment early in the morning.