On my way to the gym today I decided to stop by my local GNC to look at some weight-gainer supplements. I’ve been 110lbs since high school and I’ve been trying in futility these past few months to get up to 120-125 in order to help foster more muscle growth. But even with all the healthy eating and extra calories, it’s been like a rollercoaster of gaining 5lbs, then losing it. It’s like my body has been actively rebelling against me.

Anyways, I told you that to set you up for this. While I was there, I was talking to the worker. I had never navigated this store and I had no idea where to start looking and he was showing me the various brands and giving his suggestions.

During this interaction, a guy I recognized from the gym stopped in.

He’s probably mid to late 30s, maybe stretching into early 40s but I doubt it. He’s a handsome guy with longer dirty blonde hair. He’s got great muscle definition and size but he’s not huge, it seems more of an athlete’s build versus being big just to be big. And a great determination.

From what I gather of his training, I want to say he’s a competitive fighter or something. He makes circuits doing standard exercises from one-legged pushups to crunches to various leg and arm machines. He then spends a lot of time with the punching bag perfecting his punches and kicks, and then works one of those large situp balls like it was a wrestling opponent. Working around it, faking grabs and maintaining balance (at least what I can discern).

His actual purpose of this uncommon training (I use “uncommon” because it really is different from any of the training I’ve seen everyone else, including me, doing), I have not a clue but I’ve often imagined myself going up and asking him.

I always rule it out though because, just like the socially anxious person I am, I worry that every other person has probably interrupted his training to ask him the same thing and by the time I get to him it’s annoying and I’d have peeved him off. Or that when I come up to ask him, he’ll recognize my gay-voice (if there’s such a thing) and think that I’m trying to hit on him or taint his image by being seen with a gay guy.

Btw these are just the versions of scenarios that play in my head and I’ve never gotten anything from his personality that would indicate he would react in that way.

But as I am sitting at one of the many ab benches, I have a great view of him working that punching bag and think these thoughts.

Back to today, I’m there at the GNC and fighter-guy walks in. The worker turns to him and obviously recognizes him. They exchange a couple of words, apparently fighter-guy is waiting on something to come in and was making sure that it was a few more days. It was confirmed, and he turned to leave.

I see him leave the store, I turn my head back and then turn to look at him again on the sidewalk and I see something that surprises me. I don’t know why it surprised me but it did.

He had taken the hand of a little girl (presumably his daughter) and was escorting her across the parking lot. In the real world this wouldn’t have seemed so odd, but only seeing him within the confines of the gym had biased my image.

I don’t know why this revelation was so surprising. Is it because I saw him as strictly an athlete/fighter/wrestler and that having a family and playing father was out-of-character for the image I wanted him to have?

Will this make him seem more approachable to me now that i’ve seen a presumably softer side? I still am very curious as to why he trains so hard.

I doubt the last will ever happen, but it at least gives me more depth as to the person he is. Being a family man tells me that he has others to support and probably has a day job as well. Keeping himself in shape, trained, partaking in whatever he trains for, and still keeping a family together is hard work. And if my assumptions are right, he accomplishes it with a smile on his face.

It really shows that you need to constantly evaluate your views on people you may or may not know because you could be lacking in some critical information. Judging people on limited information could possibly hinder getting to know people for who they really are versus the image you’ve put together in your head.

Do we really have the people around us figured out? Or are we just telling ourselves that?

As I left the gym later today (earlier than my usual routine considering I was off today), I was pulling out of the parking lot and noticed him with his gym bag walking toward the entrance to start his training. It made me wish I had waited till later to work out.

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