Face savers

Face-savers are not metaphorical and if I could, I would make them mandatory in gyms.

For thirty years I’ve been hearing things like “let go… he/she needs to save face…”. You see, I don’t read sub-text. I probably have a very low EQ. But I’m a trained and skilled debater. I also admit I enjoy taking the argument to its logical end (meaning: smash the opponent with logic). The idea of allowing them to leave with a little bit of dignity didn’t make too much sense to me.

But real face-savers, the ones we use in bench press racks, are not metaphorical.

In 2007, I made one of the stupidest mistakes of my life, and I made many. More than average. I went to an ordinary commercial gym owned by a friend to use my new smaller size bench shirt for the second time. The friend had no idea what that was (or what powerlifting was). Those of you who haven’t seen a new bench shirt, assume they can be as tight as blocking your blood circulation.

Things were going well and everyone was happy and VERY far from the bench (if you know what “spotting” means, you know you need to be very close to the bar because that’s the point of you being there in the first place). When we reached 110kg/240lbs, I locked out and…. the bar kicked back. It can happen, especially if you’re not that good with the new shirt yet.

So the bar landed on my face. I hear my friend say “FUCK! It’s all fucked up” and I did wonder what “all” meant. The fuck part was clear. Someone took the bar from over me. I immediately touched my teeth to check what was left. Amazingly, all of them.

I was oddly happy and euphoric. I got up and asked: “did it lock out well?” Everyone was looking at me as if they saw a ghost. The cleaning lady had a bucket and a mop. I looked back and realized there was blood splattered all over the mirror – the stupid mirror behind the rack. There was blood all over.

Silence, dead silence. Then I said cheerfully: “Eyy! Dot wowee! De dose is too bascudarized. Dads wy des zo buch blood. Ids doding!”

I drove to the hospital and when I stopped the car at the Emergency entrance two nurses that knew me (I wonder why) grabbed me and asked “what the fuck did you do this time?”.

They took x-rays, did a cat-scan and kept me there for much longer than I wanted. I was hungry. So I sneaked out when they weren’t looking and bought a few bite size meat loafs – the cafeteria was not far. I hid them inside my bad and ate all four of them.

Ok, here is the thing: I shouldn’t even be alive. That bar could have killed me. I’m a tiny 123lbs female and today I bench that raw, but it’s a lot of weight for any part of your body, let alone the skull. I obviously had a concussion and the first symptom was mental confusion. That euphoric feeling? Concussion. Stupid decision? Concussion. A few funny hallucinatory things in the next days? Concussion.

Don’t be stupid. Don’t be me. Use a bench rack with face savers.


Pictures: competition combo rack from EliteFTS 

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