My squats suck! My left knee is making funny noises. I’m feeling much older than 38 today. Waaaaaa. I don’t usually work out on my lunch hour and just wasn’t feeling it today. I forgot to Spike up, so maybe that was it. I was feeling defeated while finishing up a 295x8 set of parallel squats, when an older gentleman, about 60 years old, walks up with a picture saying, “I bet you’ll appreciate this.” It was a picture of someone in a powerlifting meet, with a lot of weight on his back at perfect parallel depth. No wraps, suit, etc. I said, “Is that you?” He said, “Yes, and that’s 600lbs.” in a matter of fact tone. Needless to say, I was quite impressed.
Even more so when he said he weighed 148lbs. at the time. Holy snikes! I said, “You certainly don’t see much good squatting going on around here.” He nodded and smiled. I noticed he had an employee polo shirt on and I asked him what his position was. “I’m the maintenance man.” I said, “You’re the last person I would expect to be a maintenance man here!” He said, “Come on back” motioning me to what looked to be a storage room. It was his office, which was packed with stuff, supplies and looked quite cramped.
On the shelves above his desk on the wall was his shrine. It contained about two dozen different trophies, pictures of him as a bodybuilder, certificates, etc. He began telling me about some of his strength feats from the early 60s, before powerlifting was a recognized sport. Not sure if that is true, but I went along with it. He wowed me with tales of pulling 700 , benching 500 and squatting 600 all at the weight of 148lbs. All the while I didn’t get the sense he was bragging, but simply sharing his achievements with someone who could truly appreciate what an accomplishment it was. He talked about owning his own gym, paying Arnold a $10K appearance fee to speak to his gym members, meeting Zane, Ferrigno and several other big names from that era.
I wondered aloud how in the world he ended up here. “Long story”, he replied. I probably could have chatted with him for hours, but I was starting to cool off and needed to finish my workout. I thanked him for sharing the stories. I was feeling inspired and got back to lifting. By the way, that gym is easily the best maintained 24 gym that I’ve been to. No suprise, considering the man behind the equipment.