No hurling projectiles, no complicated scoring, no spectators stomping "We Will Rock You," just the clack of barbells in the early morning light. Zen-like in its simplicity.
I discovered the weight room at Washington Junior High, when I went out for wrestling and the Jump Quiz. At Rocky High, when I was working as an athletic trainer, I hung out in the weight room during practices.
But it was hard to find a regular workout buddy. I wouldn't work out with someone I was dating, so Verne the preacher's son was out.
Darry would go nowhere near a gym; he insisted that "Girls don't care about muscles; it's what's beneath the belt that counts."
Aaron, the rabbi's son who didn't know he was gay, joined me a few times, but working out with him was embarrassing: he kept staring at guys' muscles -- and my crotch. I had to keep telling him "Look up here!"
In my senior year, I finally found a regular workout buddy: a sophomore, my brother's age, but taller than me, with broader shoulders and bigger biceps. To the surprise and perhaps the dismay of my lunchtime crowd, he was Black.
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