A pec of pain

14 Mar

I don’t wear my glasses at the gym. I see well enough to pick up dumbbells and make sure I don’t smack someone accidentally. Without glasses, I’m a fuzzy image in the mirrored walls of the free-weight zone, where, as a friend once told me, “you hardcore types work out.” I look great. A blurred vision of toned musculature and hotliness. Youthful. Vigorous. Strong. Hardcore.

On this crowded day at the gym, there is only one weight bench free, the wonky one with the stiff adjustment knob. I kneel on one knee, grab the knob with my left hand, bracing the bench seat with the right.

Pull. Pull. PULL. The knob doesn’t move. As grunting sometimes increases your strength — I know this because I hear an awful lot of it on the weight floor — I tighten my grip and pull again, grunting to get as much muscle power as possible. Nothing. Then ….


What the …. OWWWW. Hot pain spikes up and out, down and around, through and deep into my left pectoral. I swallow a scream. Then I realize it’s a charlie horse, not a heart attack. Whew. I know what to do. Apply pressure. To the pectoral, which is not as easy as you’d think, the chest muscle being protected by a substantial layer of boobage. But in a moment of clarity, I keep my hands off my chest. Must be strong. Must be cool out there with the muscle men. They never scream and grab their puffy pectorals.

I stagger to the ladies’ dressing room, lean against a wall and allow myself to moan while applying pressure and massaging the fiery mound of muscle and flesh. I hear others moving around in the room, but can’t see them so I let myself whimper as well as moan.

Someone coughs beside me. I open one eye. A shape in black whispers, “Um, something wrong? Can I help?”

“I don’t think so,” I say. *whimper*  “Boob spasm.”

“Oh, no, I don’t think so either. Bless your heart,”  the shape says, slipping past me.

After about 10 minutes, the pec relaxes and I go back to the weight area. A boob spasm doesn’t deter the hardcore, not at all. But, still, I avoid the bench and stand to work out.  I squint to see my reflection in the mirror.

Oh, yeah, I look great. Tough. Strong. I lift a dumbbell.



One Response to “A pec of pain”

  1. Laura Cartwright Hardy March 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Cute. Ouch, but cute. Now how about the dumbbell/foot incident?

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