There’s a scene in the Pixar movie The Incredibles where the son Dash, who has the super power of speed, asks to run in a race with other kids. He’s told he can’t because he needs to keep his identity secret.
|Picture of my arms|
In high school, I resented jocks like all of the rest of the geeks. We imagined a world where those with intelligence and passion would overrun jocks. Beautiful girls who fawned over jocks would finally see us for what we truly are and fawn over us.
Time passed and, not enduring regular dodge ball pummelings in gym class, I became even scrawnier. I bought a brace at a drug store because of constant back pain. I went through half a dozen ergonomic chairs at work, never finding one that could relieve my shoulder pain. It wasn’t until I worked at Eidos Interactive, sitting at a desk without a break all day, every day, for weeks, that something finally broke. I threw out my back on three separate occasions, spending days walking in an embarrassing slant.
I got a personal trainer. We started with a beach ball. I’d hold it at arm’s length and twist. It was pretty absurd, but after a few repetitions I was drenched in sweat and sore.
My back pain abated with regular exercise. I grew muscles where I had none before and found myself staring at my shoulders in the mirror and thinking: “shit, what are those?”
And you know what? Even after all of that, even after regular training sessions, working out on my own, and watching my meals, I’m still a scrawny geek.
More on this tomorrow.