A turning point

January 26, 2011
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Starting his journey to become a football player, Jeff approached the weight room. It was the beginning of summer vacation but he wanted to get buff for the football season. He had always been jealous of Chris who was the best player on the team for 3 years and seemed like the king of the world to everyone else. Everyone in Jeff’s grade knew Chris even though he was going into senior year. Jeff was only a freshman who had never done football before or lifted weights but he figured if a guy like Chris who never seems to struggle in life can become a pro then he can do it too. It was early morning and the only people in the weight room were Chris who was bench-pressing 300 pounds and his spotter. Jeff was looking at Chris to see if he was doing any cheap trick to make it look like he was really strong but he realized that it would be stupid to cheat cause there was only one other person in the weight room who looked about 20 years older. Jeff figured he could lift 200 pounds at least if Chris could lift 300 pounds so easily. Jeff got down and pushed the bar up but realized immediately that it was way to heavy when it crashed down against his chest. Barely supporting the bar with his weak hands, Jeff was overwhelmed but also confused as to how “Mr. Hulk” could lift 300 pounds over and over and he could not even lift 200. Chris’ partner immediately rushed over to Jeff to pull the weight off his chest and put it back into place. Furious he yelled at Jeff for being such a fool to try such a crazy amount of weight without anyone to spot him if he was in trouble. Chris spoke up, “Hey coach don’t lose your head over it. He can learn about what he can lift and what he can’t especially if he is going to be on the team this year”. Jeff tried to think of something to say but he could only think about how he just made himself look like a huge idiot in front of the football coach and Chris. Chris studied Jeff for one second and then came up to him and said, “ I can teach you how to use the weight room and how to work out if you want.” The coach told Chris that it was a fine idea and left them there to work out.


Jeff was annoyed with how out of all the guys who could have helped him it had to be his worst enemy. Thinking about this he did not even hear Chris say that they were about to start and got a flick on the head in return. Chris told Jeff that the first thing he needs to learn is how to actually lift and not try to look like super man. He removed 130 pounds from the bar making it not even half of Jeff’s weight which, felt like a huge insult. Jeff lifted the bar in the form that Chris told him and did 10 repetitions with it. After the tenth Jeff’s arms were already kind of sore which made him realize that he was already out of shape and that he needs to work harder. Chris went over every exercise he could think of with Jeff, which took over two hours. Jeff was told to use the lighter weights first because he can just increase the weight latter when he gets his form right. Chris told him that lots of people try to look really strong because they are using really heavy weights, but they are actually just wimps who don’t want to look as weak as they actually are.” After the two-hour workout, Jeff felt like collapsing. He was hoping he would be able to walk home because his legs were totally sore. Even though Chris did the same two hour workout as Jeff, he went right back to his own work. Jeff was surprised how he had taken two whole hours out of his time just to help a fat freshman that probably won’t even get to play that much on the team. Chris never even made fun of him for not being able to lift half of what he could lift. Jeff always thought that the tough football guys were mean and brutal and pushed guys out of their way but he noticed that Chris acted nothing like that.


The next few weeks Jeff kept working out every day. He did everything that Chris taught him and Chris checked several times to make sure that Jeff did it right. Every day that Jeff came Chris was already there before him and was still there when he left. Jeff had gotten a lot stronger over the two weeks and started to get more motivated from Chris working out as long as he was. Latter into the summer, some of the other football players started working out as well. They noticed Jeff who was only bench-pressing 100 pounds and started to taunt him for his pitiful strength. Some of the juniors went to the bench press next to him and started doing constant 200s to make Jeff look even weaker. Feeling overwhelmed by the other players Jeff tried to think of something to say but instead he heard Chris’s voice. “ Where were you guys during the last few weeks?” The juniors stopped lifting and by the look in their faces it looked like they didn’t want to answer that question. “ I can’t believe you guys.” Chris said in his mocking voice. “ You should have started lifting several weeks ago when summer started but I guess you guys were more interested in slacking off and playing black ops instead”. Jeff was shocked that Chris, the guy he hated all of middle school was standing up for him. He almost thought he was dreaming. The next day none of the football player messed with Jeff. After what happened with Chris, Jeff started to hang out with him all the time.





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