Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hospitals and Gyms

My father was scheduled to have surgery at Stanford Hospital on Friday, and the surgery was supposed to last 6 to 6 1/2 hours, so I made sure to bring a good long book. This is a textbook, I enjoy reading textbooks on training because I know I will be reading about scientifically proven methodology, not something that once worked for some fitness model and is now "the best method" as stated in a woman's magazine.

William J. Kraemer and Steven J Fleck are two of the world's leading experts on strength training. Although at times some of the parts of the book are rather dry (it is required reading after all), the parts are important to understand training as a whole.

Thursday prior to the surgery we were meeting with many of the surgeons (we met 4 of the 6 anesthesiologists!) and I was having a conversation with one about ...steroids. We were sitting around waiting for technicians to perform tests for my father and this fellow hung around to chat.

I was telling him how great my cholesterol levels were and how high my HDL is, he countered saying that women have the benefit of estrogen to keep their HDL levels high. I told him how my physician insisted on checking my levels all the time, to be sure my supplements weren't "tainted". Steroids will screw up your cholesterol. He agreed and he said this: "male bodybuilders have horrible HDL levels".

Now he didn't say "some" so in his mind all bodybuilders take steroids. Just a little tid bit of information as to the world's perceptions of bodybuilders.

But that was Thursday, as we pre-registered (sort of like a race) and met all the physicians, it would be a fairly involved procedure, actually, two of them.

So, on Friday as I sat in the surgery waiting area, I couldn't read or think, they had a live band playing blues! Here is the flyer for the band:

Now I thought that was very nice to have live music, but it seemed rather odd to me to have a loud band blasting music as people waited for their loved ones to come out of surgery. Rather over the top wouldn't you say? My brother called me from Barcelona and I had to walk all the way to the end of the corridor just to get out of range of this howling band.

Stepping back to the morning.....I had arrived there at 5:00 am and stayed with my father until they took him away at 7:15 so I thought I would zip back home and go to the gym, shower then go back to the hospital.

I arrived at the gym at 8:00 and had never seen it so crowded, I don't typically come at that hour and on a week day to boot. I noticed an awful lot of finely coiffed and dressed ladies, a gal I see in the early mornings calls them the LTL (Ladies That Lunch) and I was dumbfounded by the amount of plastic surgery I could see.

Hmm, I didn't seem to fit in very well, especially with the bulging biceps and skimpy workout clothes, I got more than my share of looks. But, several waves later and lots of" Hey your late!" "What are you doing here at this hour?" and I felt better, I just got into my training, it was back and biceps day.

I finished my training and walked out to go home to shower and get back to the hospital and what do I see in the parking lot? This and I started laughing out loud:

My gym has hot coffee in the rain and free valet parking! What a riot!  I asked the attendants if I could take this and they scrambled out of the way.

As I got in my car, still laughing about the valet parking, I realized it's not just my gym, it's my community, it's my world.

Even though I make fun of my world, I realize I am very lucky to be able to do the things I want, I live in a great community and am surrounded by wonderful people and I have a multitude of opportunities.

The world, no matter how silly or frivolous, is my oyster.

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