Me and the normals

Me and the normals 1: an adventure helping them squat and scaring them with blood

I just returned from the gym that I’m going to while here in Springfield. Two girls were trying to squat on the rack next to mine. One of them asked me if I knew where the bar pad was. I said:

– I bet if I show you the right way to place the bar on your back you’ll never need those again

– Really?

– Sure, c’mon

Then I proceeded to set the bar on the right height for her – it was way too high. And I bumped my head on the rack support (sometimes I wonder how I manage not to hurt myself MORE, I have issues… which probably invole not wearing my glasses).

I showed one of the girls how to place the bar and she did it.

– OMG! It works! Amazing! Thank you so much!

Then she turned to me with a scared look and said:

– you’re bleeding…

I tried to smile and say “ah, it’s nothing”, but my hand came full of blood from my forehead.

Conclusion: I probably illustrated how dangerous squatting may instead of showing them a good time with the squat bar.

* * *

Me and the normals 2: there was a guy trying to bench AND do leg raises at the same time. In a synchronized manner: push + raise legs, bring bar and legs down together.

I swear, I saw this. Fascinating. I’m sorry I didn’t videotape – thought it would be rude.


* * *

Me and the normals 3 – The locals are friendly. Many say “hi” to me as if recognizing me – I have no idea who they are, but I smile back and say “hi”. Maybe all blond strong women look the same to them. Maybe all strong women look the same to them. I read a story about one of the first mergers between a Japanese corporation and a Scandinavian corporation. The Japanese are extremely conscious and strict about politeness and they had anxiety crises because they couldn’t tell one Scandinavian from the next (so they couldn’t get their names right): they all looked the same to them. Maybe we all look the same to normals? Who knows!

* * *

Me and the normals 4. Today was “crossfit normal” day at my gym, or at the rack side of the gym, where I was. The racks were free, so I was able to do actual powerlifting stuff: heavier dead presses. That required some structural work: the rack setup was quite unusual for them, with the safety bars much higher and the bar resting on them (WTF?). Plus, three little 10lb plates under the bench to get exactly the right height for the deads. After the deads, I did heavy close grip – full range. There was a girl doing handstands, a guy busy with the prowler and some people doing really weird stuff with the bosu, like squatting AND pulling a band at the same time over the unstable platform. They all smiled in a “hi” way and I smiled back. I was just another crossfitter doing some weird WOD with bars and plates, and little plates under my feet, all incredibly functional. Right? Right?…

* * *

Me and the normals 5 – Yesterday I bumped my head into the rack again – no blood, thank the gods… But it was actually worse than the first time: I hit my head on the bar. Now tell me: how does a powerlifter – my god, a power-fucking-lifter – fail to see an Olympic bar sleeve? Because I’m short, the bar was set for someone tall to squat and I was precisely busy with the extremely complicated mechanical tasks of bringing it down for benching. Apparently I don’t process so much visual information at the same time. The normal I tried to help the day I hit my forehead and bled while teaching her to squat was there again. She smiled, with another normal, and said “hi”.

” Yeah, there’s the crazy powerlifter bumping her head against the rack again. It must be a ritual for these guys. Who knows, they’re weird.”

* * *

Me and the normals 6 – Today was “pull day” (I’ll get to that later). I was at the crossfit area, where I never saw any crossfit class but that’s where the most talkative normals gather. Also the most self-sufficient. After unsuccessfully trying to deadlift with straps (not good at that), I finished my deadlifts and did some light snatches and cleans. VERY light: I started with those Rogue 10lb plates, then added two more and so on. I was doing cleans with not more than 93lbs (=nothing, for speed and volume, almost puking my heart out) when one of the normals stopped, smiled in awe and said: “this is so impressive… you know, what you do…”. It took me a while to realize he was talking about the VERY LIGHT cleans – I’m a powerlifter, not really that good with cleans and what I consider “ok” for me is at least my bodyweight, for reps. So when I did realize that he was impressed, possibly because he thought it was iron, I smiled, waved and said: “no, no, no: it’s not impressive at all, look it’s just foam!” And I picked up one of the 10lbs plate and was going to throw it to him (not AT him, mind you) when he looked at me startled and said: “I understand, I understand: they look heavier than they are, it is still impressive”. I didn’t know what to say after scaring another normal, who certainly thought I was going to frisbee the plate at him, so I kept smiling and trying to explain that this was for speed and a good exercise.

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