So the past two weeks have been a little up and down. I’ve only been out to the gym three times, which felt pretty disappointing. But in my defense, I figured this may happen, so I’ve gone old-school to an extent. The nights that I don’t go I’ve started doing the simple stuff such as push-ups and sit-ups, and one of these days…..pull-ups.
I dread pull-ups. I hated them in Junior High School, I hated them in High School, and I still hate them now. There was however, a period I went through when I was ok with it. The idea that sprung into my head one day, during my semi-annual “Look in the Mirror and Judge Yourself” events. I considered that my arms and my shoulders certainly weren’t in the kind of shape I’d like them to be despite all the push-ups and barbell work I was doing at the time. So I settled up with myself that it may have something to with the one exercise that I have actively avoided (besides what I like to call “the crotch building machine”) for so long. Therefore, walking through Wal-Mart that night, I picked up the “Gold’s Gym” door jam style pull-up bar. It also doubles, they say, as a “perfect push-up” tool so that you dip down below your fists in the act of doing the exercise.
In any case, I picked a door jam, set up the piece of equipment and started my regimen. It worked out well for the first couple of weeks, I didn’t over exert myself so it wasn’t too bad. It probably also helped that unlike the school’s I had attended, the bar wasn’t impossibly far above my head. I wasn’t intimidated by it at all. I remember gym class vividly, standing there staring at the nasty looking stainless steel bar welded between two basic frames of the same material as if it had been thrown together by some shop class kids. Here is where I developed the key fear that only a handful of times had I ever overcome.
I don’t like little things that are supposed to hold big weights. My prime example comes from my Mountain Climbing experience at Scout Camp. We had a gigantic tower that had three walls and was open in the back, and a 6x6ft platform at the top. For those of you who don’t know, possibly the most key piece of equipment is the Carabineer. On average, it is a 8in long, 5in wide loop of hardened steel with a section cut out of it and replaced with a clip mechanism. You’d more commonly see these things as smaller, cheaply made key ring holders made out of cheap metal.
Honest to goodness, the amount of weight that one of the true Carabineer’s can hold is in excess of 1500lbs. But let me break down my fear for you:
• I’m holding this thing in my hand that weighs about half a pound.
• The circumference of the bar of metal that they bent into this shape is ¾’s of an inch.
• The strength of this little bar has been compromised by the fact they cut a section out of it to include a clip. Although this clip is made out of the same material, it appears the spring and pin system has been fashioned out of a different material that I can’t identify.
So upon examination, this thing is roughly 1-1000ths of my size (off the top of my head) and I’m being told it can hold 7 times my weight.
A small portion of this fear made it through the years and into the foreground of my brain on that fateful day as I peer at this assembly of hollow tubing hanging from a thin piece of wood nailed to my doorway. The faithful little orange sticker that says “Limit 250lbs” was smiling back at me as I did my first couple of weeks until a curious thought popped into my head: I haven’t actually checked my weight. Sure enough, the digital little numbers of doom on the scale showed me at 265lbs.
The bar has not left the closet since, but perhaps now that I’m at a good 225 its time to take that bad boy on out and give it another go.
I’ll let you know……