Ever walk into a store or other public place and have people look at you like the freaks from the circus sideshow? Feels good doesn’t it? Yeah, as bodybuilders we actually look at that as a compliment. The word freak is tossed around the bodybuilding world as a complimentary phrase.
Of course, when someone outside of bodybuilding uses it, it is not meant to be complimentary. They consider anyone who would spend hours in the gym and eat only healthy, clean foods strange. Anyone who is more interested in how a food will enhance their physique than how it taste must be weird. And, who would want to push heavy weights around just to feel the pain and work up a sweat. Isn’t it better to just let a machine do that for you?
I started looking around the other day at all of the “non-freaks” around me as I was shopping with my family. One guy could barely fit into the booth at the restaurant we stopped at and before he was done he had eaten a large plate of pasta with some cream sauce, a burger with bacon and cheese, fries, and some chocolate dessert coverage with a chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate ice cream. Then when he got up to leave he had to hold on to the back of the booth for a second to get his “legs under him” before he could walk to the door. He huffed and puffed his way to the door and stopped twice on the fifty-foot walk to the car. I held my daughters close as he walked by, in case he got hungry again.
Then we headed to the mall and as we were driving through the parking lot a car zipped by us on the left (illegally) and while still doing about 25 mph, swung into the open space at the end of the lot closest to the store (which, by the way, was a handicap parking space.) As we were parking at the other end of the lot, I noticed a 20 something couple get out of the car and head inside. No apparent physical impairment or limitation was evident. As we walked by the car, there was no plate or other marking denoting it as a handicap vehicle. I guess laziness is now a handicap.
In the mall we went into a large department store and as we strolled the aisles a lady zipped by on a scooter. She had her bag in the front basket and I commented to my wife, “Well it is nice that they have those available for people who have trouble walking.” As we continued shopping I noticed this same lady again and she was at the end of a congested aisle. She drove down the aisle running over feet and pushing people out of the way without so much as an “Excuse me.” She then got to the section she wanted and proceeded to climb up onto the scooter, in a very precarious position, to get an item from the top shelf (pretty good leg strength if you ask me.) We were checking out of the store as this same lady came by (and ran over my foot) to check out at the next register. When she cashed out she left her scooter at the end of the aisle and speed-walked out of the store and about 200 feet up the parking lot to a large pick-up truck, which she had to climb up into, waiting for her there.
Finally, the day ended with my daughter at her gymnastics class. I sat beside a lady whose daughter was in the same class and we watched as the girls tumbled and climbed. After a few minutes the daughter of this lady sat down off to the side. The mother stated that this happens a lot because she has asthma, which she inherited from her. Then, in the same asthmatic breath, she said that she would take that opportunity to go outside and have a cigarette.