Every so often, I am seized by what seems at the time to be a really great and totally cool idea. Once such instance, drawn from my time at Fordham, involved a balance ball. I thought I could do a Zen-like meditation while perched upon the ball. I reckon it was my hope that the prayerful internal balance would find a parallel in my balance on the ball. Sadly, rather than a glimpse of the beatific vision I walked away with bruised ribs and a wounded pride.
So you'd think I'd have learned.
A few weeks ago, while at Target, I happened upon the Iron Gy
m (yes, it's one of those As Seen on TV things). I'll admit it: I want "rock-hard abs." I want "shredded bi's and lats". Over my time at Fordham, I've really come to enjoy working out and, without ready access to a gym, I saw the Iron Gym as offering me the hope of continuing to work-out...with the added benefit that I could exercise in the privacy of my room!
Well, let me begin by saying that the Iron Gym does work. It certainly allows you to do three types of pull-up/chin-up. You can do dips. It's great for dips. I'm not as impressed with it for sit-ups but, since I'm trying to use 8-Minute Abs this summer, I had no plans on relying on Iron Gym to help me with my abdominal aspirations.
The trouble, as usual, is not with the apparatus.
It's with me.
So after doing a nice little routine of chin-ups, push-ups, dips, and air squats (100 each), I was possessed with a great idea. For a moment, I imagined myself a member of the Olympic gymnastics team. Feeding this delusion, I pretended to hear the roar of an enthusiastic crowd as I approached the high bar.
This is it, I thought to myself. Team USA needs a perfec
t score in order to wrest the gold away from the Chinese. It all comes down to you. You've got to be perfect: from mount to dismount, flawless.
Now, even my imagination can't be stretched to picturing me doing any sort of routine on the Iron Gym. But I can imagine the mount. So, inspired by the vainglorious hope to win honor and gold for my country, I took a running leap at the bar.
The trouble is, I hadn't quite gotten so far as to think what I wou
ld do when I grabbed the bar mid-air. Years of philosophy and theology have allowed me to forget that a 160-pound object that propels itself into the air carries with it some momentum. So while my hands securely grasped the bar, the rest of my body continued forward. My legs swung upward and as I am wont to do, I neglected to maintain my grip and I feel to the ground. Half-in, half-out of the closet, I could do nothing more than to stare at Iron Gym as it taunted me and my foolish imagination.
So I type this with a little knot on the back of my head and a sore back. I'm including a picture of Iron Gym. If you look carefully, I'm sure you'll see the remnants of my pride torn and tattered in the background.