BoxLife Fitness Training #215
BoxLife Fitness Training #215
The gym is located near my house. I am not sure why it was so hard to get there. There are two entrances, one of them being a driveway which leads into the backyard. The other entrance is a garage door which opens up onto the street.
You could probably drive your car through the garage entrance.
I have been going to this gym since I was 18 years old. My parents were always supportive of my decision to go to this place. They didn’t really care if I went out with friends or not, but they did want me to stay here and train regularly.
My first time training here was when I was 19 years old, after all that time passed, it still feels like yesterday!
As I mentioned before, I trained here from the age of 19 until I was 21 years old. When I was 19, my weight dropped down to around 135 pounds. At that point, my dad gave me some advice: “You need to lose weight.”
At first he told me to just eat less and exercise more, but eventually he suggested that maybe it would be better if I started working out in the gym instead of eating out every once in awhile.
I have to admit that I was a little bit scared of joining the gym at first, but I did it.
Ever since then, I’ve been going to the same gym consistently. The only time I don’t go is when I am out of town for a vacation once every 6 months or so.
I like this place because everyone has always been very encouraging and helpful to me. If there is some sort of piece of equipment that I don’t know how to use, someone is always willing to teach me how.
I think the most important piece of equipment here is the treadmills. I would probably go insane if it weren’t for those things when it gets really busy in here.
There are always a lot of people on the treadmills, and I have never seen all of the treadmills being used at once. This is probably because people usually go on the treadmills for less than 10 minutes.
Most people go on the treadmill to warm up and then get off and do their main workout. I really don’t mind sharing a treadmill, and it’s a lot better than having to wait for one!
I usually warm up on a treadmill for a few minutes, and then move on to an elliptical machine or stationary bike. I actually really like the elliptical machines here; they’re a lot more fun than the ones at my old gym.
After I warm up, I move on to the weight lifting area, where I spend about an hour or so lifting. There are a lot of choices here when it comes to choosing free weights.
I usually start off with some lighter weights and do a couple of sets to get warmed up, and then I move on to the heavier weights.
I’ve picked up some tips and tricks from watching some of the other people in the gym. For example, there are these two guys who work out with each other almost every day. They are usually in the weight lifting area and they’re always competing against each other to see who can lift the most weight. They have even showed me a few techniques that can help to make me lift heavier weights.
I like to watch these two guys because it makes me feel motivated to work harder. When I’m tired or I feel like quitting, I remember what one of these guys once told me: “Quitters never win and winners never quit.”
By the time I’m done with weight lifting, I’ve usually been in the gym for about 2 hours or so. After that, I spend some time doing some abs exercises and stretching.
It’s a lot of work, but I really like it here. It’s almost like my “second home.”
Before I leave, I make sure to get some free weights for tomorrow. I usually don’t take that many because I don’t want to abuse the system, but still be able to come back tomorrow.
There are a few people who work out here on a regular basis as well. One of them is a guy who I’ve spoken to a few times. I think he’s British, but I’m not really sure. He seems to know what he’s doing, so I figure he can’t be all that bad.
Another one is a girl who I have spoke to a couple of times as well. She has been here for about a year now. She’s new here, but she seems to know what she’s doing for the most part. She’s in college, so I guess that means we’re about the same age.
Sometimes I watch people to see what they do and how they train. Watching them helps me figure out techniques that I can use on my own workout.
Today, I find myself watching couple again. The guy is tall and he’s got a nice build. I can’t tell what his deal is, but he seems to be focused on himself. I notice that he has his mp3 player on the floor next to him, which seems kind of stupid because if someone stepped on it they could easily step on your neck as well.
The girl is much more interesting to watch. She’s slender and tall, but not nearly as tall as the guy. She looks like a runway model; she’s that pretty. She’s also really focused on what she’s doing, but I think that has more to do with balancing than anything else.
I watch her for a moment and see that she’s doing lateral raises. She starts off with only five pounds in each hand, but after a couple of sets she increases the weight to ten pounds. She then puts the weights back on the rack and switches to a lighter weight again. She does this process a few times before finally putting the weights back on the rack and wiping her face with her arm.
She looks around for a moment and then begins to walk over in my direction. I feel myself start to sweat a little bit as she gets closer.
“Don’t be nervous; be confident,” I say in my head.
What are you staring at over there?”
The guy with the mp3 player says as the girl walks up to me. He doesn’t even bother to look in my direction; he just listens.
“I was just watching this guy over here work out. I’ve never seen anyone do lateral raises before.”
The guy with the MP3 player finally gets off his lazy butt and walks over to us.
Who is this guy?”
He asks in a demanding tone. He doesn’t seem to like me very much.
“I’m Jacob,” I say extending my hand. I’m not sure why, but I feel like I should be polite to him.
“Jake, this is Monica. She’s new here and doesn’t know anyone yet.” He doesn’t seem very happy that she knows me now. I don’t know why though; I’m a nice guy.
So what are you doing later?”
He asks in a less-than-subtle way.
Nothing, why? Are we going to do something?”
“Yeah, but you have to come with me right now though.”
“I can’t right now, I’ve got stuff to do.”
When can you get away then?”
He continues to pester me. I really don’t understand why he wants me to go out with him and his girlfriend so badly.
“I don’t know…sometime next week I guess.
Is it really that important that you talk to me now?”
“Yeah, it is.”
“Well why don’t you give me your number and I’ll call you when I’m ready to go out.”
“I can’t give my number to you, but you can have mine. 555-9582. Don’t lose it.”
“I’ll remember it, don’t worry.”
“Great. Well I’ll see you later Monica.” He walks away rather quickly.
Is he always like that?”
I ask out of genuine curiosity. I can’t even tell if he’s shy or just an jerk. Maybe a little of both.
“Yeah, he’s like that with everyone. Don’t worry about it though; you’ll have a good time with him.” She says with a positive attitude.
“I’m sure I will.
So do you come here often?”
I ask in an attempt to flirt. She seems to like it and laughs. It’s not the best line I’ve ever used, but at least she knows I’m trying to be cute.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that I do.
How about you? Do you come here often?”
She asks in kind.
“I try to get my exercise in every day, so I guess you could say that I do.
So how long have you lived here?”
I actually just moved here yesterday. I transfered from out of state for work. You couldn’t have given me a better recommendation of the city.”
Oh yeah? Where were you before this?”
“I was in California, living with my parents out in the suburbs. It’s kind of a long story why I’m living alone in a city now though.”
“Oh, well that sounds like it was really interesting. You should tell me more about it over dinner sometime.”
I’m not sure if she’s just saying that to be polite or if she’s being serious. Either way I accept.
“I’d like that.
Maybe we could go tonight?”
I suggest, feeling more comfortable by the minute.
“Sorry, but I have plans tonight…” She seems to be thinking for a moment. “…how about tomorrow night?”
I laugh a bit. “I don’t think so. I’m not waiting another day to go out with you.”
Then how about right now?”
She asks with a bit of worry in her voice.
Are you asking me out right now?”
I reply, not knowing how to take her sudden request.
“I suppose I am.
Do you not want to go?”
I think for a moment. Going out with someone on a first date the same day you meet them is rather unusual…but at the same time this is a rather unusual situation. I’d say going out tonight is just about the best idea she’s had so far.
“Sure, we can do that.” I reply with a smile.
“Great, there’s a little burger place not far from here.
Do you like burgers?”
“I think I can manage.”
With the rain still coming down hard we quickly run to a bus stop near by that will take us to where we need to go. The bus is rather empty considering the rain, so we sit in the back to keep our conversation private.
“So tell me about yourself.” She asks as the bus takes us to our destination.
What do you want to know?”
Where did you grow up? What do you like to do in your spare time?
Don’t hold back anything.” She says with a rather demanding tone, but it’s easy to see that she doesn’t mean it maliciously. She’s just very interested in everything about me.
“I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I learned how to play piano when I was young and played by ear mostly, but never had any real lessons. When I was thirteen my parents got divorced and all I had left was a mother who was constantly working to keep us afloat after the divorce…and as for what I do in my spare time…” I stop for a moment to think about what I do all day.
“Well, lately it seems to be nothing but playing a piano that hasn’t been delivered yet.
You? Where did you grow up and what do you like to do in your spare time?”
“I grew up mostly in foster homes. I learned how to play the piano too, but I don’t have one of my own. I like to read books when I get the chance.
Tell me, what is your favorite book?”
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” I reply after very little thought.
“That’s a very old story.
I’m guessing you like older stories?”
“Some of my favorite books are old. I enjoy reading about journeys, adventures and mysteries the most. The Grapes of Wrath is one of my favorites.”
“I’ve heard of that one, it’s pretty famous. I can’t say I’ve read it though.
Are there any new books that you’ve liked?”
“Not many. I liked Cloud Atlas, but other than that…I don’t know. They just seem too…modern.”
We reach our stop soon and step off the bus. Now that we’re out of the rain, I’m feeling a lot more relaxed. Despite the fact that I’m here because I was supposed to be at work, I feel more at ease than I have in a very long time.
Do you want to sit outside or would you prefer to be in?
It’s a little cooler today, but they have heat lamps if you’d like.”
“It’s up to you, I’m happy either way.”
“Well, the last time I was here it was so crowded that we had to sit inside, but I don’t see too many people today. The choice is yours this time.”
“Then let’s sit outside. I’ve never had a meal with a view before. It will be a new experience for me.” You say with a smile.
You lead the way to a table next to the window. There is a heat lamp here, but you turn it off after you sit down.
You take off your coat and draping it over the back of your chair. Then you take off your hat and shake out your hair. I’ve never seen hair that color before and it almost seems to shine under the sunlight. Not to mention, the rest of you is just as attractive.
You reach for the menu and look it over, but you are much closer to it than I am, so I can’t make out what the writing says.
Does anything look good to you?”
“Not really sure. It all looks pretty foreign to me. I think I’ll just go with whatever you decide, as long as I don’t have to eat worm or snail or some other w-r-e-c-k-e-n creature.” I stammer in my awkward way of speaking.
“You won’t have to worry about that. They don’t have dishes like that on the menu. You’ll be fine with anything I order.” You say reassuringly.
“Great and now I’m even more nervous. Maybe I’ll just have coffee.”
You don’t want anything to eat?”
“I’m not really that hungry right now. When I’m nervous, I don’t usually eat much, but I still pay for my own meal. You can order whatever you want and I’ll pay for it when the check comes.”
“Well in that case, I think I will have something to eat. They have a special today. A burger with fries and a soda for only $2.99”
“That’s a really good deal. You should get that.”
“I was hoping you’d say that. I’m starving and it would be a shame to miss out on such a good deal. You should get something too, even if you don’t need it. I’ll pay for your meal as well.”
“I don’t know…”
“Oh come on.
We just got here and you’re already turning down free food?
I thought you were a man of adventure.” You tease with a wink.
“Fine, I’ll get something, but only if you pay for me as well.” I compromise.
“Ok, it’s a deal.
Now what would you like?”
You go through the entire menu point by point explaining what each thing is and how it is prepared. I have never heard of some of these dishes before so I have to rely completely on your knowledge. Finally, you come to a stop and ask me which one I’d like to try. I have actually been paying less attention to the food and more attention to you as you explained everything. I’ve noticed that you are very talkative and expressive. You also tend to look at me a lot while talking which makes me believe that you really want me here with you. The nervousness I had before is gone completely now.
I can’t decide between the beef stir fry and the pad Thai, they both sound so good and I wouldn’t mind trying either one. I finally just decide to go for the safer choice and ask for the stir fry. You smile and order that along with a soda for me and another coffee for yourself.
As we wait for the food, I start to feel shy again and find myself staring at the menu for anything that might distract me from you. I settle on a chip in the paint of the table and begin to trace it over and over again with my eyes.
So tell me, are you from Arizona?”
you ask, trying to make conversation.
“No, I’m from back East, originally. I moved out here with my mom recently.”
I feel like I should be asking you questions too, but the only thing I can think of is your hair and I don’t want to be rude. It’s so…Red.
No human hair is that red. I wonder if it’s a dye job or if it’s real.
Maybe if it’s real then it’s a rare color?
I can’t help but reach out and touch it.
Whoa, what are you doing?”
you ask as I grab a handful of your hair.
“I’m so sorry! I just really wanted to see if your hair was real.” I say leting go of it immediately.
“Um…yeah, it’s real. Why wouldn’t it…” You stop talking and look down a bit.
Wait, you thought I was wearing a wig? Why would you think that?
Is it because of my…” You stop and look around. “Look, whatever the hell your name is, I know what you’re doing. You’ve been trying to peek down my shirt since we sat down. I’m not stupid, you know.
Maybe you think you can do that to any girl you meet at the bar, but let me tell you this, okay?
I’m not like the others. I’m not going to just fall for your stupid pickup lines and be lured into your car. I’m not like the other girls you pick up and throw away after you’re done with them.”
I feel my face getting red again. “I…I wasn’t…I don’t…” I try to defend myself, but it’s no use.
She’s already turned away from me and is hiding behind her hair again.
“Here’s your food. I need to go sit with my friends now, so please leave me alone. I don’t want to hear anything else you have to say. Just leave me alone.
I feel myself tearing up a bit, but I refuse to let the tears fall. I know I should’ve just kept my thoughts to myself and stayed in the car. I slowly back away and head back to the table where I left Martin and Andy. Even though it feels like a lifetime ago, it has only been about fifteen minutes since we sat down.
Where’s the other girl?”
Martin asks as I sit down.
“She went off with some friends. She told me to just stay here and not talk to her anymore.”
Martin’s jaw drops. “
What did you say to her?”
“It doesn’t matter. I’ll just be saying goodbye to you two now. My apologies for taking up your night out, but it looks like I won’t be needing your assistance after all. Good luck dealing with your Asian buffet, I’ll be on my way.
Martin and Andy look at each other but don’t try to stop me. They know there’s no reasoning with someone on a guilt trip and that’s exactly where my head is right now. I rush out of the diner and make my way back to the car. Once I finally get in, I burst into tears for the first time since my mom left.
How could I have been so stupid?
I offended a complete stranger and now I’m paying the price for it. I can’t believe that this is how I’m spending my Saturday night. In fact, I can’t believe this is how I’m spending the summer, period.
I decide to call my mom again. Maybe she’s had a change of heart since we last spoke.
“Hi…mom.” I say trying to be as cheerful as possible.
Maybe if I sound happy enough she’ll feel bad for me.
“I don’t want to talk to you.”
Every little bit of hope I had is gone. It’s official, I suck at everything.
“Mom, I’m sorry for what I did. I…I was having a bad night and took it out on you.
I regret everything I said and please, just give me one more chance.”
“No. I’m not bailing you out of this one, Selena. You wanted to be on your own and make it on your own and this is what you get for throwing away your opportunity of a lifetime. I hope you’re happy now.
I’m not coming back, so make the most of the next three months. Goodbye.
But she’s gone again. Just like that. I can’t believe it. I’m actually going to be homeless in three months and it’s all my fault.
There has to be a way to fix this, but I can’t think of one. The car suddenly gets very depressing. It now feels like a tiny cell I’ll be spending the rest of my life in and the walls are slowly closing in on me.
Why is life so unfair? Why does everyone else get to have a happy ending while all I get is hardship after hardship?
I sit in silence for most of the night. I try to eat some food to take my mind off things, but it’s no use. I’m sick from all the stress. Eventually exhaustion takes over and I fall asleep, but I don’t sleep too well. My dreams are plagued with images of my mom and Jazmine laughing at me from the back of a cereal box.
Once I wake up in the morning, I realize that I won’t be able to last another night in the car. The only other option is to go back home and beg my mom for forgiveness later. Maybe she won’t be so mad at me tomorrow.
Later that day I arrive back home with a stomach full of regret.
She’s in the kitchen doing dishes while Frank Sinatra sings softly in the background.
“Yeah…I…um…look I’m sorry about yesterday.
I shouldn’t have said those things to you.
Can you forgive me?”
“Of course, I forgive you, honey.”
Do you really mean it? You’re not just saying that so I’ll feel better?”
“I really do mean it.”
She dries her hands on a kitchen towel and gives me a hug. It feels so good to have her comfort me again. I take a deep breath and enjoy the moment while it lasts.
I still have to deal with three months of homelessness before I can go back to my mom’s again, but for now I’m just going to enjoy this perfect moment.
Mom and I talk for a little while longer then she says that we need to go do something fun. She says that I need to start getting ready because we’re going out tonight. I’m a little confused at first but soon she explains that it’s supposed to be the hottest night of the year and she wasn’t going to let it pass without her and her daughter enjoying it. She says plans for the two of us to spend time together and have some “girl talk”.
I don’t know what girl talk entails, but I’m actually excited. I think it’ll be really cool to get one-on-one time with her.
So do you want to go out to eat or would you rather go to a movie?”
she asks, twirling her car keys around her finger.
“Let’s go out to eat. I really like that Italian place on Johnson Road.”
“Perfect, I’m in the mood for pizza too.”
I smile at her.
“You really are forgiven, Mom. I love you.”
“I love you too, honey.”
It’s a short drive to the restaurant and we make small talk about my first day at school. We park in the parking lot and walk towards the entrance. I open the door for her and a weird combination of baked ziti and parmesan greets me.
“Mmmm, I’m starved,” Mom says. “Let’s sit by the window so we can people watch too. I always find looking at other people more interesting than the people I come with.”
The hostess walks up to us and asks if we have a reservation.
No, but can we sit at a table by the window?”
Mom asks. The girl looks us up and down and then glances around the mostly empty dining room.
“I think we can fit you in somewhere. This way,” she says, leading us to a table in the middle of the room.
“Okay…thanks…see you later,” Mom says, pulling me away.
The hostess’ face morphs into a glare. She pulls out her little book and writes something in it with venom.
“We can go to another place, Mom.”
“It’s fine honey. Don’t worry about her.”
As we look through the menu’s a waiter walks up. He doesn’t even acknowledge me and only looks at my mom.
Would you like something to drink?
The special is baked ziti.”
“I’ll have a coke.
Do you want something, hun?”
she asks me.
“I’ll have a lemonade.”
The waiter walks away without saying another word. I look around and notice that everyone in the restaurant is staring at us.
“Mom, everyone’s looking at us…” I say.
“They’re probably just curious about what grade you’re in now. You did just move up a grade level, you know.”
“Maybe, but they’re also staring at us like we have leprosy.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet (J Itzler – 2015 – books.google.com)
- Life-extension in a research reactor: calculation of the neutron-induced ageing of the core-box, grid-plate and beryllium reflector (SP Tolo – 2019 – repository.nwu.ac.za)
- Neural capital and life span evolution among primates and humans (HS Kaplan, T Mueller, S Gangestad, JB Lancaster – Brain and longevity, 2003 – Springer)