top of page


Today I am broken. I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer for some strength and weight training, and he broke me. And the worst part is that I paid him to do it. I started off well enough. I showed up on time and we talked about where I was physically and what he had in mind for me. It sounded sensible and seemed to be a reasonable plan.

Then he started to hurt me. The first machine wasn’t too bad. I just had to sit, grab some handles, and push the handles over my head. When I had done my ten reps, he asked how I felt. “I feel fine,” I replied. “That wasn’t too bad at all.” “Okay then, let’s try it again and I’ll put some weights on it.” What? There weren’t any weights on it? I thought it was pretty easy; what’s going to happen now? I’ll tell you what happened. It got harder—a lot harder. Years ago I dislocated my right shoulder while carrying a box into my garage, tore the bicep off the bone, damaged some ligaments and tore my rotator cuff. As I was lifting these things over my head, my shoulder was screaming at me and making all sorts of popping sounds. I’m not certain that shoulders should make those kinds of sounds. I can be very competitive, and there are times when I hate that fact. This was one of them. When I finished my ten reps he looked at me and asked if I could handle another twenty pounds. “Of course I can handle another twenty pounds,” I told him confidently. He put the rest of the weights on and asked me to give him eight reps. I immediately replied, “Okay, then that means I have to do ten.” Stupid man. Stupid, stupid man. I did ten and then glared at him as if daring him to put more weights on. Thankfully he didn’t; he just moved me to the next machine. And that’s how it went for just over an hour. As we moved from machine to machine, I kept telling him, like a complete idiot, to add more weight. He obliged me, and in short order I could barely lift my arms.

On to the leg room. Working my quads has never been my favorite thing, and once again I kept saying I could handle more weight. And because he’s a good trainer, he kept doing exactly that. My thighs were seriously starting to burn, and I was concerned that my shorts might catch fire, but they didn’t, thank goodness. I struggled to do the last few reps, but I finally made it, and when I had caught my breath I went to get off the machine—and almost fell to the floor. My legs didn’t work. They couldn’t support me, and I literally could not walk. Not wanting to appear weak, I casually leaned against the machine and kept talking. I was trying to distract him from noticing that I needed an ambulance. Eventually the pain in my thighs calmed down enough for me to take a few tentative steps. Because there were people in the gym, I tried to make my gait look like a swagger but I’m not sure I pulled it off.

Thankfully as I was checking out and arranging for my next session there were stools at the protein smoothie bar, and I gratefully perched on one and tried to maintain a conversation without puking all over the bar. When I felt that I could walk to the truck, I grabbed my keys and left. I climbed into the front seat and just sat there. I couldn’t do anything except just sit there. I couldn’t even put the key in the ignition and start the air conditioning. All I could do was sit and stare at the dashboard and wait for my body to come back to me. Eventually I was able to leave and drive home. Stumbling into the house, I ignored the Lovely Louise and went straight for a can of Diet Ginger Ale. I needed fluids. Louise thinks I should drink water but Diet Ginger Ale is mostly water. As I’m writing this, Louise just came to my desk and brought me a bottle of water. I think she’s trying to tell me something.

I know this is good for me, but right now I hate everyone at that stupid gym. They’re mostly all fit and healthy, and they drink stuff from blenders into which they throw things like kale, spinach, and micro greens (whatever the hell those are). I can’t drink that stuff, and I offered them good money to make me a root beer float. They laughed like they thought I was kidding. I wasn’t, but at least I get to keep my hundred bucks. The worst part is, I have to go back. I know it’s good for me, and I should keep doing it. I paid for personal training for three times a week for a month so I have to last at least that long just to get my money’s worth. It would be so much easier if you could just order a new body from Amazon and have them deliver it.


Join our mailing list

Never miss an update

Recent Posts
bottom of page