Many a stories on this blog have been about the gym I work out at and the eccentric members who go there.
Today is no exception.
Ever since I’ve been lifting there I wear a small MP3 player. The only real reason I wear it is because during my initial trips to the Y, I was treated to Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Journey, Elton John, Rod Stewart, all blaring throughout the gym. These artists, outside of lifting “might” be ok, but during lifting, very bad. Try any physical exercise with “My Heart Will Go On” screaming in your face. After a couple more times of “Time Life Music Presents Smooth Sensations” I invested in the mp3 player.
5 months later and I’ve enjoyed the music that cranks away in my ears. Today however, disaster struck.
In the middle of my workout the music ceases, I quickly check my mp3 player, nothing. No power up, nothing. I frantically press the button over and over, still nothing. My battery is dead.
Slowly, with the music silenced, the environment around me drifts into my head.
Enter, the Weightroom Rambler.
Sitting at 275, the Rambler is 5’11” and is as wide as he is tall. He wears thin, circular wire-framed glasses, a dirty blonde goatee, an oversized tank-top and a long pair of basketball shorts that make him look shorter then he is because they hang to his shins.
I’d seen the Rambler before but didn’t hear him until today. And for 45 minutes I heard all of him. He’s talking about his lifting technique, his partners lifting technique (more on his partner in another entry), he’s critiquing others lifting around him, making random suggestions and after every thought goes through his head, he verbalizes it…literally. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, whatever he thinks he says. Questions, statements, weightlifting trivia, observations, ramble, ramble, ramble, blah, blah, blah.
Spare AAA battery anyone?
Towards the end of my workout I notice I am the only guy he hasn’t made a comment to. The challenge is on. Can Danny get out of the gym without falling victim to the Weightroom Rambler?
I carefully plan my escape, just a couple more crunches, then around the incline, past the water cooler, around the scale and out the door. Butter.
Rambler is lifting now by the squat machine, perfect timing to make a dash for it. I finish and as I get up I check back by the squat machine. He’s gone! My heart sinks, I lose my breath. I scan the machines, He’s not there. Can’t wait, gotta go, gotta keep moving.
I’m rounding the water cooler, still no sight of him.
I pass the scale, I can see the door and then…
It’s him. The Rambler has found his latest victim.
He’s sucked in a guy at the bench, lost in an uncomfortable conversation about the most effective lifts one can do with the bench press, the guy squirms in desperation.
I pause, smile and turn through the door.
Not today Rambler…no, no, no….not today.
Next time, I’ll bring an extra battery.