Everyone has had their share of calamities during a hard workout and I am no stranger to the occasional painful mistake. I may be a young, but I am also a male teenager-one who has played more than a few dangerous sports in his life.
The weight room, the wrestling mat, the football field, the backyard, no environment has gone untarnished and I can’t help but share some of the most memorable mishaps to date. Hopefully you will read this and learn from my mistakes. If not, well, then you can write an article.
Back in the day the team and I were conditioning. I’ve forgotten which sport this was for or even who was there but the important thing is that we were in the weight room on that particular day. As with any hot summer day, I was surrounding by an army of sweaty armpits and curious aromas.
We happened to be in the middle of a particular exercise called a plate workout where, basically, you grab the weight of your choice and then suffer through a series of ten or more exercises with the weight without setting it down while your coach watches gleefully from afar. Oh, and I forgot to mention, you start with ten reps in each exercise and go down all the way to one. That would be ten reps, then nine reps, then eight reps…It’s a wonder I made it out alive.
It was a particular blistery day and we were almost halfway through the workout. I stood there with my 35 pound weight breathing heavily, laughing at the smaller guys who had their 25’s, and feeling like an idiot when I looked over at the muscular behemoths with their 45’s plus extra weight. Like a demented Cyclops I curled my weight, half hoping that my mom would have a sandwich waiting for me back home in between reach curl. When curling was done we bent to overhead presses and from there we did rows and from there triceps (If you don’t know what these are don’t feel bad-I didn’t either until years later).
Finally, after an eternity of a having a metal plate attached to my hands, we were allowed to set them down for our sit-ups. Ingeniously, we would have our partner hand them to us once we were in position. Isn’t that handy?
My weight dropped, teetered on edge, and then fell…directly onto my tender toe.
I’m not usually one of those gentlemen of the gym who immediately falls, clutches his foot, and cries for an icepack, but this wasn’t a feather either. Instead I chose to jump up and down suddenly while emitting incoherent sounds through a mostly closed mouth. Naturally, my partner gave me a stare or two before he saw what had happened. Then he just laughed.
That’s one of the memories that still haunts my toe today and the funniest thing about it is that it happened again before the summer was over. My toe was not happy.
If it were at all possible to hand you a piece of candy or even a dollar for reading this far I would, but sadly computers don’t work that way unless we were in Willy Wonka’s factory. In lieu of candy, I’ll give you something juicier: another event.
Later in the summer, when we happened to be using the actual exercise machines in the weight room (who would have thought that those weights had another use?), I was working on the bench press with my partner. This may or may not have been for a different sport-once again my memory eludes me.
That day I was feeling extra perky so I decided what the heck, why not add on a couple extra five pounders to the bar and look good to the rest of the team? I motioned for my partner to add some weights and from there I systematically added a few to my side of the bench. From there I jumped down on the bench, took a deep breath, planted my feet, grabbed the bar, and lifted.
Immediately one side of the bar fell to the side and I was left struggling to rebalance the falling bar.
Imagine just about every curse word you can because that’s exactly what went through my head, not to mention a few came out of my mouth. Only later did I find out that I had told my partner to put x amount of pounds on his side while I had added y. Oh.