The Weightroom Rambler

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.

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Tired of Terrorism…

When I say I’m tired of terrorism, especially as someone in the western world, it sounds like terrorism is an inconvenience. It cheapens the cost many people have paid and it adds to the stereotypes people have about Americans throughout the east.

But until I can come up with a way to say it better, I’ll say it again with some explanation.

I am tired of terrorism.

We open a newspaper, visit a website or watch TV and some component of terrorism litters the media. Every day for the last five years; we have terror alert colors, terror legislation, terror investigations, the war on terror, it’s endless.

And every time a new “warning” is played on every news outlet, with a radical extremist shouting about their hatred for the west, I say, “I get it.” I’ve heard it for the last five years. You hate this country, our ideas and values. You hate our troops in your land, you hate Christianity among your people and you hate our support for other “infidels” around the world.

We anticipate another “attack” on U.S. soil and because of our freedoms it’s almost just a matter of time. We can never be 100% free and still enjoy 100% safety.

So maybe that’s where I arrive; the realization that terrorism is a price we pay for our freedoms.

Still doesn’t mean I can’t get tired along the way.

Kids Bop 8

Have you seen this?

After sitting on my to-do list for awhile, this blog entry has to go up.

Apparently, some wealthy, white, middle-aged man thought it would be a good idea to let kids sing some of today’s Billboard Rock and Pop songs. Complete with a new mix and multiple vocal tracks including songs like Usher – Caught Up, U2’s Vertigo and much much more, Kids Bop 8 is sure to please.

Unbelievable.

Take a listen and enjoy!

An InDepth Study – God’s Man

I’m in the process of reading Every Young Man God’s Man by Steve Arterburn and Kenny Luck as research for FCA.

But the book has rekindled a fire that has been in me for quite some time.

Looking back at my earliest journal entries, I wrote about qualities I longed for and desired. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be looking at what God’s man looks like and how we as men can become His.

Should be interesting given the current social definition of manhood and manliness.