I like to watch people in the gym – see what they are doing and get new ideas. A few weeks ago I saw a “kid” doing box jumps with 15 lb dumbbells. No big right? Did I mention he had 2 boxes stacked on top of each other? Knowing that the tallest box jump available to us is about 30″, I’m guessing his box jump was somewhere around 4 feet tall. Besides his tight fitting shorts and pink knee highs, he kinda stood out to me.
Last Friday he walked in the same time as me wearing Kermit the Frog pajama bottoms and a cute stocking cap. I didn’t recognize him until he stripped down to his spandex and pink socks and started performing jumping lunges superset with leg press. Yep, there’s only one kid here wearing pink socks working out like that.
I was just finishing up my last superset of deadlifts and stationary lunges when he snatched up my squat rack. 2 seconds later and it would have been ALL mine, but apparently he had the same idea. I used the time to continue to admire him and recover (and put all my weights up, heh hum ). After he finished his set of squats – and yes, I noticed his deep squats you rarely see in the gym – he moved right into static hold body weight squats. This is one of my favorite finishers in a superset. I’ve never seen anyone else use this technique except for the girls I train. I knew I had to introduce myself, and maybe even admit I’d been stalking him.
Guillermo is his name. We talked about his box jumps I was so impressed with and he replies, “oh yeah, that’s lower than I usually go. I usually jump 5 feet or more. That’s why I had the dumbbells. Next time I’m moving up to the 25 pound dumbbells to make it harder.” This amazing creature began his transformation into human before my eyes. He talked about his normal routines. Why he likes them and how he performs them. He told me of his beliefs on maintaining correct form over lifting heavy. He also told me he dresses for comfort in the gym – so he can move freely. His friends laugh at him and make fun of him for what he wears but he doesn’t care “I’m not here to look good.” He told me how he’s on his way to playing football for one of our local colleges. And then he told me how he thinks when he does the box jumps – he doesn’t train he uses his mind.
His mind? I’m thinking surely he had to train to jump these amazing heights. But he assured me he just believed he could do it and had no fears over it… he just DID IT. He says all of his friends are scared. They don’t believe they can do it so they don’t. I not only like the way this kid trains, but I love the way he thinks.
Just as I believe this kid can’t inspire me anymore he says, “I used to weigh 208 pounds 4 months ago.” That doesn’t sound like a lot for a male that’s about to play college ball. But what I didn’t mention was he’s just barely over 5′ tall and pretty darn lean. If I had to guess his weight I’d guess him somewhere around 140ish. He shows me his photo on his phone and sure enough he’s as plump as a teddy bear. He says he helps his friends now and he gets great satisfaction helping others. “If I die tomorrow and I only help one person then I’ve lived a good life.”
I gave him a very quick rundown of my story. I’ve gotten good at that. I lost the weight, burned my adrenals out, gained a lot back and now it’s harder than ever. I tried explaining to him it’s my body that is fighting me this time. And he says… “You know that the mind is more powerful than your body. You already know that because you’ve experienced all this before and learned these things. This time will be easier for you, not harder, because you know how to lose the weight and you’ve already made the changes that happen mentally. Those mental changes are the toughest changes. It may take longer but it’s not harder, just slower.”
Guillermo, I hope you don’t die today, but you have helped at least one person.