Published On: Wed, Jun 1st, 2016

How In The Hell Did I End Up On This Bench!?

Funny how one thing leads to another then another, and the next thing you know, what you thought would never happen has happened.


I got Nduku some home gym stuff.  Workout stuff.  Most ladies want flowers; Nduku wants workout equipment.  Go figure.

Since she’s really into fitness, I got her pretty high quality equipment.  A couple of Olympic barbells; an Olympic bench with the leggy thing; a squat rack; that calf raising thing; some dumbbells and dumbbell rack; flat bench; curl bar; combo hex bar; gloves that also wrap around the wrists; portable safety stands for when I’m not around to spot; and, of course, a bunch of rubber-coated Olympic plates with the holes in them for easy gripping.

Sh!t cost a lot of money!

I’ve never lifted for more than a few days in my life. I’ve gone to the gym a few times and played around, but I have no shame in admitting that I had too much shame in how little I could lift. It’s not that I wanted to lift as much as those gym rats whose arms were larger than my legs; I wanted to lift as much as the slim ladies I would look at out the corner of my eye, hoping they don’t notice that I was pushing far less weight than them.

But with all this equipment in the safety of my own home, well, the lure of actually pushing the barbell up and down without anyone seeing the exasperation on my face was too great. I pushed a little weight.


I’m not sure what happened, but when I woke up the next morning, my muscles were in full revolt. I could barely brush my teeth without my arm disobeying what my brain was telling it to do. My chest felt like someone hit me with a sledgehammer in my sleep. My shoulders protested when I put on my backpack.

And because I wanted no one to know that I pushed a little weight, I walked around all day as if everything was normal. Only the ache was reminding me that it wasn’t. Even my abs, though I did nothing to them, were conspiring against me. If anyone at work noticed my odd way of, well, doing anything that required movement, I just feigned as if I got no sleep and was feeling sluggish.

Truth is, I hadn’t slept so good in so long!

When I got home, I heard the weights calling me. At first they were taunting me, laughing at me trying to avoid them as if they were people. I’d walk past the weight bench as if it was a console table misplaced in the basement. Wondering who moved the vase of flowers that were supposed to be sitting on it. As if the 44 pound piece of metal above it was a clothesline, hanging my shirt and tie on it.

And then, before I knew what was happening, I was pushing weight again.

The ache didn’t feel so bad. My arms became my allies again. I even added a few extra plates to the bar, and it felt sort of kind of good.

Again, I slept like a baby. I woke in more pain than the morning before and played it off even worse at work, but kept thinking about pushing weight once I got home. I even snuck away at work and looked for an app to help me track my workouts, as if I planned on actually working out again.

What in the hell just happened!?

After about a week, the pain subsided, I could hold the barbell steady during my reps, I learned a few more exercises thanks to the app, and even finally, subtly, hinted to the lady that I had been pushing some weight.

That’s when I knew I was hooked. Maybe.  There was no turning back once I let the cat out the bag.

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.


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