LA Fitness, 5:00 am. Whew, that was a close one. Almost couldn’t get the bar back on the rack. It felt like the ceiling was coming down on top of me.

If I got pinned, there was no one close enough to pull the bar up off of my fractured rib cage. As I’m sitting on the end of the bench, covered with sweat and salt seeping into my desert-chapped lips, I am plagued with self-doubt.

Enter my demons: “What the hell are you doing, Bob? Should guys your age be playing with that kind of poundage? What are you trying to prove? You’re a goddam septuagenarian, ya know”.

Then it dawns on me. This is not vanity anymore, it’s marketing. I am perfecting my personal presentation. Each person I tell about my recent certification as a fitness professional does the same thing, they start at my shoes and work their way up. Every time.

Once again, I am the product. The “proof of the pudding”. Then I smile knowingly as I lay back down on the bench, take a deep breath and tell my new spotter, “OK, I’ll take it off on 3…”

Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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