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JP (Original True Story)
|The summer had finally ended and we were back at the good old high school in late August for marching band camp. Being now a junior and the best trumpet player in the school, I was appointed trumpet section leader. What I did was basically teach the rookies how to march and boss all the others around. The first time I saw JP that week, I was not surprised to see that he was a little bit bigger than I remembered him to be last year. He had grown about three inches over the Summer, apparently due to entering into his growth spurt and his voice seemed a little deeper. On the second day of band camp, he and a friend of his were about ten minutes late. He always complained about his mom driving so slowly, so this happened a lot, but this year the other section leader insisted that anyone who was late had to do push-ups: one push-up for each minute they were late. Therefore, JP and the other guy had to do ten push-ups. We immediately made them drop down and start. This is the part that completely amazed me. The other kid, a sophomore like JP, did the first few fine, but after about the fifth one he started slowing down and barely was able to pump out the last few. JP, however, went down and started his ten with unbelievable speed. Even as he reached the tenth one, he was still going at the same speed as his first one. Of course, being JP, he added on about five more just to show off, but they were also at the same speed as the first ten. I was amazed at the kid's strength. It only seemed like he was getting stronger all the time. Finally, he got up and wiped his hands against each other to get the dirt off. "That was nothing!" he said to me and grinned. He held up his fist and clench for a second or two almost as if he was threatening me or something. As he did, the muscles in his forearm suddenly bulged and rippled and I caught a glimpse of the veins wrapping around his forearm. I knew that I was not dealing with the same JP I had known a year ago and that he was only going to get stronger and bigger.
Later that first week of band camp, we were all herded into the chorus room to get fitted for our uniforms. First, we were made to try on the uniform we had worn the previous year and if any alterations had to be made, they were recorded and new uniforms were issued. I had not grown much over the past year, so I was given the same jacket and the mother told me to just rehem the pants to make them the inch longer. However, JP's turn with his old uniform turned out to be a fiasco. First if all, like I said before, he had grown about three inches, so his pants only went down to just above his ankles. But the amazing part was when he tried on his jacket. He was having trouble getting it closed because his shoulders were broader than they used to be. After much pulling and tugging and with the help of a mother, he finally got the jacket buttoned and zipped up. I couldn't help to remark. "Geez, JP! Finally got into your growth spurt!" He did look funny with his short pants and extremely tight jacket that looked like he was unable to breathe. Imagine just a year ago, he fit into those clothes. He gave me a playful scowl and tensed his whole upper body. That was a mistake. The zipper from his neck down to his stomach all of a sudden split and two of the buttons popped off and flew across the room. Fortunately, the mother was turned away so she didn't see it, but everyone who did started laughing. JP gave a devilish smile. He quickly slipped out of the jacket and hung it back on the rack before any of the mothers could see it. It turned out that he needed a jacket three sizes bigger than the one he wore last year or something like that. Later, I went over to him and said how funny it was. "Yeah," he answered back. "I worked out a little bit this summer." He told me he was using his older brother's weight bench. Ryan, a senior on the wrestling team, had been using it for years and told his younger brother that he could use to work out for wrestling. JP would go down to the basement almost every night to use it. He said he wanted to get a head start. I asked him why. "My main goal in life is to beat up my brother," he said. It turned out that his brother was 6 foot 1, 170 pounds. "I figure he'll quit wrestling in college and then I'll start catching up." JP was 5 foot 9, 125 pounds. He said he had gained 20 pounds of mostly muscle in the last year. "I'm on my way!" he assured me gave me his familiar bicep flex - placed left arm to the side of his body, pulled up his shirt sleeve, bent his arm and flexed. His bicep was nearly twice as big as it was only six months ago! It was bulging out of his arm, which was much bigger then it used to be. Plus, there was a vein that ran down over his bicep. He was working out! And imagine, he was only starting to go into his growth spurt.
As wrestling season drew nearer, JP started showing off a little bit more. While we were waiting to audition for concert band seating in November, a bunch of the trumpet players were throwing around a tennis ball in the band room. Someone threw it a little too hard and it landed at the top of a set of lockers. It was too high for anyone to jump up an get it. Plus, the ball had landed far back. Without delay, JP jumped up and grabbed the second row of lockers from the top. He then pulled himself up and, using his legs pushed his whole body until he could grab hold of the top rim. He then proceeded to heave himself over the ridge to get the ball. After he made his descent, another trumpet player said, "I bet you can't do what you just did without using your legs." JP took that as a challenge. He gave his devilish smile and threw the ball back on top of the lockers. "Yes I can," he said with a smirk. He placed his feet in front of the lockers. Now, the lockers were four rows high and JP's arms only reached to the second row. He grabbed the grating, lifted his feet off the ground, and pulled himself up so that his arms made 90-degree angles. He lifted his lower legs up so that they wouldn't touch the lockers. He held that position for a few seconds and then with a slight grunt, thrust his left arm to clutch the third row of lockers' grating. Every guy in the room dropped their mouths open in disbelief. The kid was strong! He held that pose for another few seconds. You could see the muscle fibers in his arms straining and the veins were thick with blood. Another grunt and his right arm grabbed the grating of the fourth row. After another interminably long few seconds, (I had a feeling he was taking his time just to show off) JP's left arm once again moved up to grab hold of the top ridge and with one last burst of energy pulled his entire bodyweight up and heaved himself over the top of the lockers. Everyone was silent. He reached down to pick up the tennis ball and flexed his arms in victory. Now there were three tennis balls. One in his hand and one each in his arms for biceps. He was pumped! His face was flush and his chest was heaving up and down. As he put his arms down, they stood away a little bit from his body and moved up and down with his breathing. JP wasn't transforming into a stud before our eyes, but into a monster who kept getting bigger and bigger. There was no sign of stopping JP's muscles from growing. He was determined to be the biggest he could be. And he was only a sophomore. What feats of strength would he do as a senior?!
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