Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cobra and the Lemon

this one had been sitting in the queue for a hot minute...

In the interest of keeping it fresh, Bokolis recently decided to reacquaint myself with the gym.  This decision was not made capriciously, as it required a departure from my position that working out is for people with no job.

This is a position formed from working in a gym in a prior life.  Three solid years of training out of high school turned Bokolis from a strapping lad into a jacked and (approaching) shredded body-beautiful man. 

At 20 years old, I looked as good and was as strong as any non-PED'ed up civilian was going to get.  I even had a little christmas tree where the tramp stamp goes.  Despite hearing the chirping, I was able to avoid the juice because, besides it not being my way, I was keeping up with the juicers.

At some point- that point being a fucked up shoulder and elbow, it occurred to me trying to keep up with the juicers is a mistake.  Similarly to how, when guys come off the juice, they almost invariably get hurt, the injury bug bit me as well.  The mistake we- juicers and non-juicers alike- make is believing that your body is meant to be lifting such weights without the enhancement.  Juicers always forget what they were before/without the juice and wind up going way too heavy when off the shit.

It wasn't necessarily lifting so heavy that got to me; it was the lifting, combined with the pitching, running, cycling, this, that, the other, the unmentionable, etc. that finally got to me.  I topped out in the low '80's- at 19- but I was no pitcher.  My source of pride was my outfield arm; I had a cannon.  Before Rickey showed me how to dominate a game, there was Dave Parker in the '79 All-Star Game. 

Never mind that, today, it's 50/50 as to whether Robinson Cano would run hard enough to make 2nd base, let alone dig-three like Jim Rice, or that Brian Downing isn't exactly a speed merchant.  That throw to the plate was forever etched in my memory...when people- younger than I- tell me that where is the time going because it's 2013 and I date myself by telling them that I remember when it was 1979, it's Cobra's throws that I remember.  Driven thusly, did whatever I had to do to throw strikes to the plate from 250 feet.

For a little while, I could do it, too.  Unfortunately, both the elbow and shoulder went at 20, with the effects showing up in the gym. It was at that point that I decided that, good as I looked, it was more important to look and feel good at 40 and beyond than at 20. I also needed to have something left with which to play catch with my boy (I can throw lefty just fine, but I'm not going to hose anybody from the outfield). So, I gave it all up. It was probably a good thing, too, as, by 23, the cannon was gone without any putting any further strain on it, but at least it hasn't gotten any worse.

After a burly period, Bokolis got out of Shawshank and have kept myself in reasonably good shape, retained as much speed as can be hoped, and my looks...I don't look my age, that's for sure.  But the time came to get back into the gym- not so much for aesthetics as for preventative maintenance. While I'm certainly doing better with the dings than my younger friends, I'm not without things- including complacency- pulling on me.  Ultimately, the fear of getting old tugs the hardest.

Things are a little different this time.  When people ask, I- with as little arrogance as possible- tell them that I've forgotten more than most people will ever know and that I've come back to try to remember.  While, back in the day, it was very rare for me to use anything other than free weights, these days, I'm fighting with women for the machines.  As a matter of fact, I often have to lower the weight once the machine becomes available; most of the time, they use about the same weight, so it works out.

Aside- some these birds look GOOOOODD.  Back then, they used to cover up their butts, all self-conscious n' shit.  Now, they shamelessly proudly wear this Lululemon gear; their asses look so good, makes you want to bite them slap your mama.  Of course, there are plenty of culones inchiavabile; they don't wear the Lululemon, ostensibly because they're not allowed as Lululemon only makes up to size 12.

aside- I love how women have their cunts in the air about how Lululemon discriminates, how they promote an unhealthy ideal...no they're not. They are in the business of making asses look good in workout gear. WTF do you want them to do with a size 14+ ass? For me, any dumpy 10 and 12 should be thanking their lucky stars that they make something able to mold their rump into something pleasing.

There is a change in the type of bird that now goes to the gym.  Way back when, women typically went to ladies-only fitness centers.  On the co-ed side, you would get the ones that came with their boyfriends and dykes and the occasional random bird.  Bokolis speaks from experience that the ones to come with the boyfriends were usually all-caps-and-three-exclamation-points hot, the random bird was usually a fucking weirdo and a half, with the dyke being the most at-ease.

I used to work the mornings before class in the afternoon, so I got all the wives. Half of them had husbands who would come in the evening, the others were just looking to get somebody to tell them they looked good. {Trailing off look} Bokolis learned a lot of things from those women.

Nowdays, the birds run the gamut.  You've got at least one that looks like Mr. Magoo's mother, liable to hit you over the head with an umbrella (or a dumbell).

You've got the middle-aged hausfrau, the middle-aged hard-up broad, strippers, the typical NY bird who has way too much self-confidence for her looks, her cousin- the Reese Witherspoon wannabe, a weirdo chic a la from 20+ years ago, many birds still carrying winter weight and a lot of the aforementioned cuties with tight, biteable asses, to name a few.
You should expect that people are there alone.  After all, working out is as self-absorbed an activity as there is.

The only type you'll see who is not usually by herself is the stripper; she always comes with another stripper and they are both dressed so that their tits are spilling out of their sports bra tops.  You'd see whale tail, but they probably aren't wearing anything under the tights.

If you do see two regular birds there together, one of them is always going through the motions.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a bird there with her boyfriend.  Unless both are hardcore in their training and must train with each other; it's not the best idea.  What you don't want is a BF/GF combo that both work at the gym.  While workplace romances are typically not optimal, this is the kind to be avoided at all costs.  I've seen some shitshows in my day just from BF/GF that go to the same gym and break up.  If they both work there, it's straight up soap opera bullshit.

Getting away from the birds- Bokolis forgot to throw in the gay dude walking around like a peacock- the biggest change from the old days is that, with them leting just anybody into the gym, you get a lot of ignorant fuckers that don't know the etiquette.  I remember that the "meatheads" used to complain to me all the time about the "bugs" we were letting in there and how, these bugs have some balls, looking like they do, to wear tank-tops to the gym (the hardest of the hardcore ususally worked out in long-sleeved shirts). Given the already-discussed narcisism factor, I could understand the tank-tops.

These days, calling them bugs would insult the bugs of yesteryear. Not having been slapped around, these fuckers have no manners. They leave towels on machines/benches in between sets, as if marking territory, which is bad enough.  But the worst of this is, if I may channel my inner Steve Harvey, here go this sorry muthufucka right here just sitting on the bench, checking his phone.  When Bokolis is trying to fly through my sets as quickly as possible , this is the equivalent of an old lady driving 45 in the passing lane. Back then, that shit wouldn't fly; muthafuckas would've been tossed through the window by the meatheads or thrown out by management. In this age of cunts, you have to suffer their backtalk for being diplomatic. Prodding doesn't help because, instead of getting up and ceding the machine, they will immediately trudge through a set.

Instead of resting between sets - slash - puting the heat ray on them, I go off to do a set for another body part.  Bah, fuck it; at least I look good.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

growing up, with a hater rant

Bokolis will talk a little shit from time to time. I'm out there playing sports at (almost as) high levels (as my youth) when most people my age are getting busy dying. Along the way, I impart wisdom to my teammates, all of whom are younger and most much younger.

There are times when people ask me why I'm so fast in my old age. My response is usually that it's because I was super-fast in my younger age and this is what's left. I've also heard that, for a guy that doesn't walk all that comfortably, I sure run well. I tell them that's what the slow-roll is about.

When they bemoan their aches and pains, I needle them with the standard what're ya gonna do when you're my age! But, I always tell them to stay in shape for as long as you can, because you will enjoy playing that much more if you can still- as opposed to standing around, telling your teammates what to do while being too run down to do it yourself- do it after you wise up.

The banter and such tangible role-modeling is one thing, but I've been more and more cognizant that people are watching how I comport myself, how I move. You can call it checking me out, observing, whatevs. I don't know whether to be flattered or impressed, bemused or put off that people would consider Bokolis in choosing how to pattern themselves. For all my shit-talking and gray hair, I don't consider myself all grown up.

Not only that, I operate under the assumption that people are as oblivious of Bokolis as I am of them. I ain't tryna win no popularity contests. As it applied to sports, which was my operating currency in my youth...


Since I had no use for coaches or coaching for that matter, I reconciled early on that I was WAAAY to narcissistic and self-centered, self-absorbed, self-everything to be fucking with team sports. I had no designs on professional or even the high school team. My goal, whether it was baseball, football, basketball, handball, whatever, was to be that cat that could walk on and go toe-to-toe with the best guy on the team and, для меня, do it for me (never mind that they actually had Drago say Для тебя, for you...fudging the language was part of the propaganda- we now know that Stallone was the one on steroids and that Russians are flighty and soulless people; Rocky never would've won them over because they wouldn't have given two shits either way).

That kind of shit: benching what the football players benched, matching their 40-times, dunking at 5'9" (mainly because I couldn't palm the ball, I didn't do it more than a handful of times), shutting down the city champ soccer team in gym class (strangely, they were the only lot, coach too, that gave me real flak for it). Sort of like a playground legend- well, compared to THESE guys- I was better than good, but knew I wasn't THAT good (to be fair, there were guys that were better than I was and got the better of it against me, just not many). These guys didn't know they weren't that good and thought their varsity letters gave them status (it kind of did), so, in true turn-the-hottest-rapper-into-a-beer-vendor style, I thought it my place to check them.

Y'all should've seen what I did to the two best guys on my high school's handball team...playing them one on two, no less. They thought they were so cool because they played with the little (paddle) ball. Mayn, I learned my handball (and basketball) in the hood. Plus, I'm ambidextrous and each hand has unique shot-making ability. After I ran through each of them individually, to 21, I left the two of them on six or something.


At some point, I absorbed the idea that, for all my ability and attitude, I didn't want to wind up like Samuel L. Jackson's character in Fresh, so scared of success, being wracked by bitterness culminating with a boast of put them on the clock and I'll take out all those muthafuckas that reads more like a lamentation of lost opportunity.

And now...(smiley face) I'm the captain whenever I'm on the field. Maybe that's just how it goes.