April 6, 2011 by David Gillaspie
YOU HAVE THE POWER? Maybe.
Who is the most powerful person in the gym?
The answer may surprise you.
Is it the man with deltoids up to his ears doing more shrugs?
The figure model woman who works out small muscle groups to avoid bulking up for the swimsuit competition?
The seventy year old artist with a shock of long white hair who knocks out sets of twenty pull-ups on the high bar?
They all get after it in their own way.
The muscled up guy is all shoulders and arms with no calves. He looks like a spinning top ready to fall over.
The figure model is Miss America gorgeous, which makes you wonder why she took another contest path. Don’t beauty queens have good figures?
The older man is the natural choice. He is the winner, but he doesn’t use the sauna.
You’d think anyone of them is a standout, and they are. Just not in this gym.
The most powerful person, the MPP, is a cage fighter.
Who argues with an MMA guy?
A glass door keeps the sauna hot. Some come in casually and let the door shut by itself. Others slip inside by cracking the door only as wide as it takes to slip through.
One day the sauna looked empty. It looked like someone left a pile of laundry on the top bench, the hottest seat in the room.
Most of the time people leave newspapers and magazines. Some leave their shirt on the barricade around the heater to dry out.
If you’ve never been in a sauna, but are thinking about it, use camping rules. Come in and sweat, but leave with everything you brought.
The pile of laundry needed to find its way to the lost and found, or the garbage can.
Then it moved.
Someone wore so many layers of sweats and plastics into the sauna that they lost their human form. With a double hoodie up and pulled halfway down their face, they were unrecognizable to the normal eye.
For those who take note of things like the most powerful person in the gym, it could only be one person.
An older man entered the sauna and noticed the pile of laundry moving around.
“Don’t you overheat wearing that much stuff?”
“Yes, sir. That’s the idea.”
“How long have you been in here?”
“An hour and four minutes, sir.”
“Sixty four minutes in this heat in that gear?”
“How long do you plan to stay?”
“Seventy minutes. An hour and ten minutes.” He stood and jumped to the floor and shadow boxed against the wall.
“Are you losing weight?”
“Are you crazy?”
“No, sir. I just like to strain my system. It’s good for what I do. Artificial stress helps deal with real stress.”
The older man leaned against the wooden wall, leaving a sweat stain shadow in the shape of a cow’s head.
“Okay, what do you do? I have to ask.”
“I’m a fighter.”
“Mixed Martial Arts. I’m a cage fighter.”
“What’s your real job?”
“Fighting is a hobby, like some of the other badasses in this gym. What do you do to earn money?”
“Yes, sir. I understand. I’m a fighter. I’m a professional cage fighter.”
“Are you famous?”
“I’ve fought around the world. Some people know my name, just not around here.”
“Are you Urijah Faber?”
“No, sir. He’s a great fighter though.” MMA guy swung his torso side to side while firing punches into the air.
“I know what you need. You need some hands to hit. Here, I’ll train you up. Here are some hands.” The older man stood with his hands help palms out in front of him. “See, just like Rocky. You saw Rocky?”
“Remember, ‘cut me Mick.’ I’ll be Mick.”
The fighter moved with a grace reserved for great athletes.
“This might not be a good idea.”
“It’s shadow boxing. Come on. Now I can brag about training a cage fighter. Here’s the hands. Let’s go.”
“Yes, sir.” He popped a left jab into the older man’s hand, following with a snapping right cross. The older man’s hand flew back and hit himself in the face so hard he fell against the wooden wall, leaving a smeared cow head sweat shadow.
He recovered his balance and rubbed a sprained wrist before putting his hands back in front. “Okay, I’m ready.”
The fighter looked out the glass door. “My time’s up. Thank you for helping out.”
“Let me know when you’re ready to go again.”
“How’s the wrist?”
“No problem. I’ll tape it next time.”
The fighter left the sauna. The other man stayed and tried range of motion movements with his hand.
The most powerful man in the gym didn’t need a mirror to prove it, or a posing contest. He matched the seventy year old in pull-ups.
The most powerful man had the sauna difference. If he could take that, he could take anything.