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Big Little Rich Boy
|The next year was nothing less than amazing. I don't think anyone --
least of all me -- would ever have predicted the outcome.
We used the Music Room for our gym. Aunt Jess looked aggrieved but she would be the first to admit that neither of us had a lick of musical ability. Could we carry a tune? Yes. Could we keep time? Yes. Could we sight read? Well, yes, after a fashion. Did it all add up? Not a bit.
So Jake and I had ourselves a gym, a fully (and expensively, naturally) equipped one. The walls were already mirrored all around, which made for a nice touch.
Jake showed me how to do everything, showing me the moves, correcting my form, encouraging me whenever it seemed (not very often) that I was flagging. He never corrected me more than once (he later said he'd never seen anyone get the FEEL of the weights as quickly as I did) and often enough he had to drag me from the gym when I was nothing more than a quivering mass of jelly, begging him to let me do one more set. Mostly he made me eat like a pig, and I did, anything and everything he set before me, including those godawful tuna shakes.
It worked, though. I grew like a weed. In the first month I gained 20 lbs. of solid muscle, while Jake put on another 10 lbs., all of it prime beef.
"Frankly, I'm dumbfounded. I've never seen anyone put on muscle so fast."
He finished taking my measurements (and, yes, that was itself majorly boner inducing), then he took more pix. We'd done so at the first workout, over my loud, embarrassed protests.
"We need a visual record," he insisted, "no Ifs, Ands, or Buts."
(I swear sometimes I think the man has the soul of a librarian.)
"Look at these," he said when the new set had been developed. "See what I mean?"
My mouth dropped open.
I *did* see!
Before I had been -- as he said that long ago afternoon by the pool -- wiry and hard and strong looking. And painfully skinny. Now though...
I was just as hard, perhaps even a little harder, and I had muscles. Not very LARGE muscles, but muscles nonetheless. I had a good size peak to my biceps, nice forearms, noticeable delts and traps, even nice square pecs. As for my midsection, holy moly! I was ripped, with shredded abs, serratus, obliques, the whole nine yards. (And, yes, Jake had given me personalized anatomy lessons through out our work out sessions.) I looked like one of those physique models from Men's Fitness, all muscley and well proportioned, just not at all BIG.
That was 4th of July weekend. By the time school rolled around two months later I'd put on an extra 30 lbs. of muscle and Jake had added another 15 lbs. My friends and classmates were amazed. Just a hair taller than I'd been previously (just a little more than 5'8" tall) I was now 175 lbs. of solid muscle. I was built like a brick shithouse and a fucking 50 lbs. heavier than I'd been when school let out three months earlier.
"Ya know," Jake said, "you should think about competing."
My jaw dropped. I coulda sworn the CLUNK was audible.
"Heck, I wasn't much bigger than you are when I entered my first contest and I wasn't remotely as hard and I was 2-3 years older to boot. You'd do well in your weight class, regardless of who you were competing against, and against guys your own age, well, jeez."
What a thought.
But he had me hooked. I did some scouting around on the internet and identified a contest occurring in late spring, a regional event that had both teen and open's divisions -- and a rep for graduating winners to the pro ranks.
"I'll enter it if you will!" I told him.
His face lit up and I thought my knees would buckle from the sheer joy of having that beam turned upon me.
"You really know how to snooker a guy, don't you?"
* * *
With me in school 6-7 hours a day I didn't get in nearly as much gym time as I had previously and as a result I was NOT growing as fast, which was probably just as well. I'd already found a stretch mark here or there but Mother had an endless supply of Retin-A which cleared things up quite nicely.
Briefly I considered telling Mother I was quitting school but then I visualized Jess's reaction to the news and dropped that idea like a hot potato. Muscles don't do you any good at the bottom of the East River. I thought about asking for a home tutor, then realized I was having too much fun being Big Man On Campus (well, aspiring Big Man, anyway. I was only a freshman and there were already some BIG rich boys at St. Myophilus Prep.)
Anyone else, of course, would have killed to make our gains. By the time Christmas arrived I'd gained yet another 30 lbs. of solid muscle and Jake had put on his "usual" 15 lbs. At 205 lbs. I was only 20 lbs. lighter than Jake had been when we'd started out six months previously, gaining an awesome 80 lbs. of solid muscle. For his part Jake was up to 265 lbs., with not an ounce of body fat. He blew me away -- we taped his chest at 60 inches, his waist AND his quads at 30 inches, and his fucking biceps were 22 inches COLD. By that time I'd read enough muscle magazines cover to cover to know that I was living and working with a world class contender -- the world just didn't know it yet!
Mother had never come back from Costa Rica. Apparently she and Heiko were better friends than anyone ever realized (the two of them included) and the two week visit turned into a six month grand tour of potential sites for Heiko's proposed chain of luxury environmental resorts, "Ecco Paradiso."
Jess, for her part, had poured herself into Baluchistan relief efforts so much that except for breakfasts and dinner on Sunday I rarely saw her. And even when I did I couldn't do anything other that prattle on mindlessly about lifting and the latest bodybuilding news.
"My sweet," she said, finally, "if you say ONE more word about muscledom I will have the Music Room completely restored to its original condition and YOU will be packed off to Juilliard."
I blanched and Jake kicked me under the table.
"Are we clear?"
I nodded vigorously.
"So, Jess," Jake began, casually changing the subject. "How ARE the Baluchi elections coming along? I understand the big question is whether al-Zamda is going to be able to mobilize the hillsmen effectively?"
For the first time in the 14 years I'd known her, Jess let HER mouth fall open. The ensuing half hour oration was the most enthusiastic I'd heard the Old Girl deliver since, well, since Jake had arrived. He nodded and agreed and looked skeptical and offered diversionary follow up questions at all the right places. After dinner she let Jake escort her to the library, her ancient, mannish hand resting lightly on his fearsome forearm.
It occurred to me that Aunt Jess was the one who needed to do the talking, not me, and in one brief lesson Jake had displayed mastery of skill I didn't know existed.
Well, what can I say?
I was 14, going on 15, and I was definitely getting to be too big for my britches. We don't learn unless we make mistakes. The sad thing is that some of them hurt so damned much.
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