Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Training with the pros

I don’t follow football. I enjoy watching an important game—and I admit to being a fair-weather Packer fan—but generally I know about as much about college and pro-football as I do about NASCAR—i.e. nada.

So it was quite a shock to me the other day when I went to the bank to deposit some money and one of the bank employees who works out at my gym said, “So, how was it working out shoulders with Michael Bennett?”

“Oh, you mean those two built, strong dudes from last night? One of them was Michael Bennett?”

“Yeah, man.”


“Um, excuse my ignorance—but who exactly is Michael Bennett?”

“What?—you don’t know?! He used to play for the Minnesota Vikings; I think he’s a free agent now.”


But it gets more interesting. My brother—who follows football and most other sports (and poker)—informed me that Michael Bennett is related to “Uncle Dave.” Uncle Dave is my childhood friend’s uncle. Since I’ve known Dave all my life, I also call him, somewhat jokingly, Uncle Dave.

So today at the gym when I saw Bennett and his trainer/friend, I mentioned our tenuous link (we were already on a “Wuz up?” basis from having worked shoulders together). Then I went to practice my clean-and-jerk. Just as I set up my weight, Bennett and his trainer started doing the same exercise next to me. As I watched Bennett gracefully clean the weight to his collarbone, I could see his technique was differed from mine; i.e. his was correct and mine was incorrect. So, I asked him and his trainer if they could watch me do it and give me pointers, which they graciously did. Their pointers helped. Even though I’m still working on it (Bennett confided that it took him months to get the clean motion down perfect), I have a good mental picture and intellectual understanding of how to perform the motion.

Even though I did pick up off the floor and cleaned 133Ibs, followed by jerking it over my head, I didn’t have the technique down pat. So, I’m going to continue working on cleaning and jerking my bodyweight, but this time doing it just as Bennett and his trainer taught me. Once I have the form down perfect, then I’ll consider my feat accomplished.

I’m really tired now because I got a little obsessive about the exercise at the gym, and kept cleaning and cleaning and cleaning weight, hefting it to my collarbone. After that I did squats and some other exercises. Now I’m just beat. But I have that nice natural high I get from finishing an invigorating workout. As I type, I’m sipping on a glass of red wine and looking forward to another day of work at the West Bend Daily News. Tomorrow while I’m sitting at my desk, working away on an article, every time I get up or move in certain ways I’ll be reminded of my intense workout from the night before. The next-day-soreness is one of the things I like best about working out, other than the endorphin rush or nice resultant physique; it’s the soreness the next day, when you can really feel your muscles.

But another nice thing about meeting and working out with a professional athlete was that Bennett was totally unassuming. I would never have known he was a pro unless other people told me. I just figured he was an impressively built, very strong nice guy. We tend to put athletes and other famous people on pedestals, and as a result we sometimes act in a deferential manner towards them, and sometimes they expect it. It was refreshing to see that Michael Bennett was a friendly, normal guy you can meet at the gym. And, of course, it was even nicer that he gave me pointers on my technique!


Blogger airforcewife said...

That's really cool! But just so you don't feel so alone, hubby and I would not have recognized the name, either (much less the person).

And since you're on the subject of fitness... how often should I be repeating my yoga routine every week for maximum effectiveness?

7:04 AM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

I'm not very well versed in yoga, but generally any fitness routine should be done at least 4 times per week. You probably don't want to do yoga on Tuesday if your body is still stiff and muscles still sore from yoga on Monday. You should mix yoga with cardio-intensive exercise.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Sounds like an exclusive for intrepid reporter Zak Mazur of the West Bend Daily News...I've got one for you, too...Paris Hilton is in my bed, with Lindsey Lohan and two bushels of finest *Colombian*...will forward you the video asap, amigo! (Let me first go into that phonebox over there and change into Cockroach Man)


5:00 AM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

For some reason I can only reply in prose...

Listen to the children,
looking for the news,
Israeli occupation, gives little kids the blues,

Super heroes cannot help,
Not even Cockroach man,
Superman was invented by Jews,
A part of their evil plan.

5:48 PM  

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