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Despite lunches dense in complex carbs, all I seemed to get for my gluttony was a series of bowl-busting dumps. By the end of the month, I weighed 151, and neither new pound waved back at me when I posed in the bathroom mirror.
Then I ran into a kid at a party whom I knew vaguely from the gym.
He clapped me on the arm, said I was looking a little bigger, and asked what I was "bumping." I scrolled my brief lexicon of bodybuilding. " Laughing, he wrote his number on the flap of a matchbook.
"Call me tomorrow, and I'll totally get you started.
Oh, and I don't take checks, so stop by the bank." The next morning, I climbed up a snow-slick rise to his off-campus place in a brick colonial.
With the wisdom of years, we know now what we wrought: a national pastime tainted beyond the telling, a pandemic of wrestlers dying in their 30s and 40s, and high school sophs sized like Pro Bowl tackles, their hearts and livers ticking down to doomsday. Give a kid the means to rewrite his DNA and what you get, soon enough, is a subset of males who flout the inconvenience that we call rules. I'd been training for a month more or less constantly, cutting Anthropology to lift alone, then returning to the gym for an hour at night.A radiant heat began filling my chest, as if someone had draped a compress across it.I did another rep and the feeling spread, inching past the collarbone toward my throat.His chest was a slab of T-squared boxes, beneath which knelt columns of raised abdominals that bunched and torqued as he moved.I turned around, slack-jawed, and watched him go; it took all my self-control not to applaud. " My head in a sweat, I pondered the question like a man who'd just rubbed an old lamp. I want to get laid." The next day I bought my first pair of Nikes and met Mark at the bottom of Stony Brook's field house.
I've been paying for that fix, very nearly with my life, ever since. Olympia, to the fall of '84, when 'The Terminator' opened, he changed the operative notion of what a man's man looks like in this country.