After my recent back problems, I decided I’d go see a ‘real’ doctor and get it diagnosed and fixed. Instead, I went to a chiropractor. Now, let me explain. First, for all the idiots I’m sure read my blog, the air quotes around the word ‘real’ indicate that was a tongue-in-cheek comment and I do regard chiropractic as a legitimate treatment modality. Second, he wasn’t the kind of chiro I’ve seen in the past, he kind of reminded me of me, if I were a chiropractor. He’s an Active release Therapy practitioner as well as some other modalities I had never heard of, but suffice to say, he’s very into treating soft tissue and not just subluxation.
I left feeling pretty good, and with a recommendation to use the treadmill on a high incline instead of the bike. I found I can’t work very hard at all on the treadmill without my peroneals and ankles hurting like hell. So I gave up after about 20 minutes and started stretching. I don’t know if I’m just too heavy (read: fat) or if I need new shoes or what, but there was definitely a great deal of discomfort. I don’t know what I’m going to do: disregard my chiro’s advice and use the bike or find something else to do, maybe treading water.
When I was stretching, I ran into a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while. He’s lost a lot of weight and is looking pretty good. That was welcome, and I enjoyed talking to him. Then, things turned for the worst. First I tried to convince him to join our club if he was serious about hitting the iron. Then there was a little exchange where he was being self-deprecating and said he was too small or something to that effect. Then his friend said “Just show them how you’re throwing up 85’s on the incline.” Now, this irked me for several reasons. It just seemed like a really petty, insecure scenario. Not to mention that I don’t find that feat particularly impressive.
Then, as I’d mentioned powerlifting (I’m always trying to get people, anybody as all really, into the sport and onto our team.) he asked how much I could bench. Being a powerlifter, it’s easy to say “I hit 331 at my last meet” I told him that, and I emphasized that that wasn’t a particularly good lift.
I do that every time I tell people about my lifts and I don’t do this solely for self-effacement. I do it because it’s true and because I’m trying to play down the image of that as a heavy weight. I want people to get stronger, make progress and drive me even further in return. One of the reasons people don’t make any progress in the gym is because they have no concept of what strong or heavy means. They spin their wheels for months and years on end, never increase their strength and look the same forever. This friend of mine is too concerned with trying to cut fat, but looking at him, he’s “skinny-fat” and has no wheels (worse than mine). He needs to put on some muscle and make his weight workouts harder and more metabolically intensive if he wants to reshape his body.
Anyway, that same friend of my friend got to talking about this guy he knows who does something like a 390 bench at 185. I of course was a little skeptical, but I was optimistic to find out the kid’s information so I could contact him and get him into the club. He added something like “I’m sorry, but I even think he could outlift you, in your weight class.”
Now, I wasn’t offended because if he can really bench that much he would indeed outlift me. It was the way he said it like it was some personal affront to me. What was there to be sorry about and why the hell would I be offended?
One of the few things I genuinely hate about this weight lifting thing is the smallness everyone seems to have. Everyone has such an ego and acts like their lifts or physique are some kind of reflection of their value as a person. It doesn’t really matter. I asked if the guy used a bench shirt or was unequipped. He replied “He used it in training to work up to that.” What a load. It’s possible but highly improbable that he would actually do that. It also makes his lift more easily plausible if it was equipped. The connotation was that the lift (and thus the man) was somehow less because it was equipped. Who cares? Why all the ego?
As it turns out, I Facebooked the guy and his lifts look legit, so I’m trying to coerce him into lifting with us. Cross your fingers.