Gym of Dreams: Mike


By xythan_shadow

“Coach, I won’t be in town this weekend. I’m going off with Sam and Armstrong. We have a vacation planned, my first one in almost 3 years.” I tell my coach. “Don’t worry; I’m sure that I will be working hard while I’m there. Sam and Armstrong aren’t ones to let me rest too long.”

Coach looks up at me and says, “I wish the rest of your teammates had as much dedication as you did. I tell all the JV players that they need to be like you if they want to start.” I say to coach, “Thanks. It’s all Sam and Armstrong though. I just moved the weight. They made me feel like I could do it.”

“Maybe I should get them to come down here and do strength training for the team.”

“I don’t think so. I mentioned it to them once, saying how there’s people who could use their guidance, and they said to me ‘They must make the first step and find us, like you did.’ I don’t quite understand it, but I guess what they mean is you really have to want to change before they can help. I remember I was at my wits’ end when I first met them. If I wasn’t, I doubt I would’ve stuck around after that first night.”

My mind wanders back to that night; the haircut, Armstrong shocking me with his huge size and me discovering things about myself I never knew. If someone wasn’t desperate or willing, they would’ve ran out the locker room screaming after Armstrong started roaring. I guess what they said is true. They must find the gym and first.

“….next game.” Coach says as I get startled out of my daydream.

“Huh coach?”

“I said we’re starting on defensive end the next game.”

“Cool! Thanks coach!”

“You’re the best man for the job Big Mike, what did you expect?”

“Still, it’s a giant honor.” I look at my watch. “Geez, is that the time? I gotta get to the gym.”

“Tell the guys I said hello and I hope they send me more guys like you.”

I laugh as I run out the door and towards my car.

I arrive at the gym slightly late. Armstrong and Sam have already done their warm up sets and I need to catch up. They’ve already set aside a spot and preloaded a bar for me. I scream, “I’m late but I’m sure as hell going be giving it my all” The guys in the gym laugh a bit as I sprint to the locker room. One quick change later and I’m back on the floor. Sam and Armstrong pause for a bit and help some of the other lifters while I catch up on my warm ups. I take them slow as usual, taking care not to injure myself. Sam is helping a guy with his one rep max on the bench and Armstrong is growling “Push, don’t give up!” at a guy doing squats.

Home Sweet Home.

I finish up my warm up just as Sam and Armstrong finish helping out. They walk back to where we’re doing back exercises. Sam pats me on the shoulder and says, “Had a good day big man?” Armstrong starts lifting as I recant the days’ events. Sam gives me a thumbs up as Armstrong says, “Bout time they saw your skill.” He grunts out the last rep and switches off to Sam. “So,” Armstrong continues, “ready for this weekend?” I smile as I say, “Yeah, haven’t went to any beaches in a while. Been hanging out with you two guys for the last few years.”

“Yeah,” Sam grunts, “We thought it was a good time for a vacation.” Armstrong responds, “Yeah, we’re going shopping today for stuff, you’ll probably enjoy it a bit.” Sam stands up and laughs a bit. “I still remember my first time shopping with this big lug,” he chuckles, “it was a day I’ll never forget.” I get ready to do my set, wondering what Sam could possibly mean. I know these guys; they always have something interesting up their sleeves. I smile, knowing this is gonna be a fun day. •

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