Did I ever tell you about wanting to be a body builder?
Yes … this kind of body builder….
When I was a teenager my father often took a second and/or third job to supplement the household income and manage to feed the
bazillion eight of us. Not to mention he and mom liked to eat once in a while as well. One job he took for I think a year or more was cleaning a health spa. A fancy shmancy health spa. It had a pool. A sauna. An ice dip. A vapor room (imagine a sauna with Vick’s Vapor Rub steam shoved up your nose). It had showers. It had toilets. I mention this because we had to clean all of these things. Oh, and it had a snack bar. If we got there early enough and the snack bar staff was still there we would often be treated with cream cheese on zucchini bread.
And we would often
be treated see the body builders still working out. Not that everyone who went there was a body builder. But the body builders were always the last ones to leave. I did not particularly have any issues with this. At. All.
After we cleaned we had permission from the management to swim, and work out. I never cared to swim so much. It meant I would have to wear a bathing suit. Mind you, I was in my mid thirties before I voluntarily wore shorts again. Swimming is wonderful and I love it. I just do not love my body in a swimsuit. But I would wear a swimsuit under my jeans or “cords” so when I finished my part of the cleaning I could work out.
I had no idea what to do to work out. But I loved the idea of building muscle. I saw the men and women body builders and I wanted that. Just to clarify what I mean by that….I was not lusting after the body builders. I was lusting after the muscles. I wanted THAT. I am pretty sure that having three older brothers had something to do with me wanting to be a little bit tougher.
I am not saying they were mean. Yes I am. No I’m not. I kid! I kid!
Reality …. I just think muscles look freaking awesome!
So I lifted weights. I benched. I curled. I leg pressed. I pulled on the pully things. Clueless to reps. Clueless to technique. After awhile some of the body builders would give me tips. A couple of them asked me if I wanted to start training and offered to help. One lady body builder even came to one of my classes in my junior year to do a presentation for me. I was so very much in awe of their self control and dedication.
But mom said no. She didn’t want me to be muscle bound. I didn’t know what that meant.
If it meant look like these people….than bound my muscles!
A high light of my junior year in high school: I benched 185 when I weighed about 150. I thought this was phenomenal. And I leg pressed 300 pounds. I even had body builder witnesses.
My dedication to physical fitness took a
16 year short hiatus when dad left that job for another one.
I’ve always envisioned this beautiful physique I could have had. This powerful, sleek and solid machine to live in and work hard at maintaining. I was bummed when we no longer had our personal spa to work out in. And yes I did, on occasion, stand before the room length mirrors and flex my muscles in my bathing suit and cords. I can still see that room, the smudged mirrors I had to polish every night….just so I could stand there in the end and see all my growing muscles.
I am pretty certain that year of my life my brothers
ignored respected me even more. Probably because they were a little fearful of my geekiness awesomeness.
But it was not to last. Good thing for the next sixteen years I had all of those doughnuts, pizza, chips with bacon dip, and McDonald’s hot fudge sundaes to help me get over that. By the time my senior year in high school commenced I was starting on the path to fluffiness.
But I had it. That little bit of a builded body.