Margaret Thatcher bench pressing in Texas

I prefer a home gym for my workouts because A) it is very convenient and B) there is usually only one snobby and pretentious person there (that would be me standing in front of a mirror kissing my biceps). However spending too much time in your home gym makes you complacent. You forget how the rest of the world does it. So it comes to pass that one day I find myself in a real gym not knowing exactly what I was doing and making a jolly old fool out of myself.

I was on a business trip to Dallas, Texas and the hotel I stayed at was connected to a world class physical fitness facility. It had everything you could ever dream of: swimming pools, jogging tracks, boxing rings, cardio machines, weight training gizmos, you name it, they had it. I swear it must have been were the Dallas Cowboys football team worked out. I also think the cheerleaders worked out there too. I was like a kid in a candy store.

When I walked in the place I instantly had to UP my game. The clientele there meant business. I sucked in the gut, stuck out the chest, and spoke with a deep voice. “Howdy y’all!” I was in Texas and had to walk the walk and talk the talk.

I made my way to the weight training facility like a he-man on a mission. Slapped on a few of the big plates and thought: let me bang out a few bench presses to show these Texans how people from New Jersey do it. Hmm.. OK, two forty five pound plates should be easy enough. Wow, this bar is thick…

“One” <Oh this is a lot heavier than I thought> “Two” <I think I can do it…> “Three” <Why did I try a third rep?!> BANG! BOOM! BANG! BOOM!

Yep, you guessed it. The plates on the Olympic bar fell off one after another with a thunderous roar and the entire gym stopped to look at the red faced buffoon who thought he was Ahhhrnold. As they came off, I chirped like an angry Margret Thatcher at a tea party gone bad and the entire place let out a collective giggle. Worst of all who came to my rescue? Yep you guessed it, one of the cheerleaders. She looked as if she weighed 90 pounds but there she was helping me to spot my bar and pick up my weights. You want to talk about embarrassment. I squeaked something like I had an old injury from Nam but I don’t think she bought it. Uh… time to hit the showers…

So let this be a lesson to all those people who workout at home: it is good to stick your nose into a real gym once in awhile. Just don’t overdo it when you get there!

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