On Sunday afternoon, I was exercising at the YMCA as I have done every weekend now for about a year. Since I blew out the shoulder and elbow of my left arm, I have been relegated in the last six weeks to lower body routines.
I was sitting on a leg extension machine that is supposed to work quadriceps. A proposition that makes the grand assumption the user possesses leg muscle tissue above the knee. I set the weights five pounds higher than the prior week. Doing a set of 15 reps, I felt like the rubber core of a golf ball about to unravel.
A young man sat down at an identical machine next to mine, a floor-to-ceiling mirror in front of us. I tried to guess his age based upon an impressively well-developed crop of raging acne pustules on his face, so I was guessing about 20 or younger. (Turns out that he is a junior at Baton Rouge High School.) A bright-eyed, forthright fellow nonetheless. He turned to me and said, “May I ask how old you are?”