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|It was December and Andrew and Carrie were driving along the dirt road leading to Margaret's cottage.
"I hope Margaret has some ideas about how I can work out in the weight room, now that I have reached the limits of the plates," Andrew said.
"Maybe she could use the technology she used to shrink her flying car," Carrie suggested.
"What do you mean?" Andrew asked.
"Make the weights small enough to carry in your gym bag," Carrie elaborated. "Then they could be returned to normal size, once you are in the weight room again."
"Good idea," Andrew said, squinting out the front window. "However, we may not even get to Margaret's cottage today. Look at what's blocking the road up there."
Carrie looked and saw that a huge old tree had split from the weight of the recent heavy snowfall and had fallen across the road.
"I wouldn't worry about it," she said. "Hey, why are you stopping?"
"We have to turn around and find another way to get to Margaret's cottage," Andrew replied. "We'll never get there with this tree blocking the road."
"Yes we will," said Carrie. "You can move it."
"You're kidding!" exclaimed Andrew. "It must be 100 feet wide. Look, it extends ttoo far into the ditch on the other side of the road. it's too long for me to handle."
"Don't tell me you won't even try," said Carrie. "Is my big muscle man going to let a little tree stand in his way?"
Her words had the desired effect, as Andrew stopped backing up the car.
"I know what your'e trying to do," he said. "But look at the crowd out there. The attention would never go away if I were to move the tree."
"Can you think of any better way to get some community service on your college application?" Carrie countered."What would you tell Mr. Malcolm, that you could have helped these people get on with their day, but you didn't because you were afraid of a little attention?"
Her logic had the right effect, as Andrew shut the car off and looked over at her with understanding in his eyes.
"So basically I would be doing everyone a favour," he agreed. "As well as raising my profile for the Univeristy of Miami."
"Exactly," said Carrie, as they got out of the car. "I know you have a huge shy streak when you are around me, but you have to use your confidence."
"Agreed, " said Andrew, as he closed his car door. "Well, wish me luck, " he said, as he gave her a big hug.
"Go make that tree sorry it ever got in your way," she grinned back at him.
Andrew smiled , took a deep breath and then headed for the crowd. Carrie watched as his stride changed from that of her gentle boyfriend to that of the cocky football star.
Good, she thought to herself. he knows how to get back into character.
"Excuse me please," said Andrew, as he passed through the crowd.
"Hey, you're Andrew the Football Star!" one of the skinny teenagers yelled out, as Andrew passed him. "I saw you benching your own car on TV!"
"That's me kid," grinned Andrew. "Pretty impressive hunh?"
"You bet!"the teen agreed hastily, a little intimidated at Andrew's size up close.
"You haven't seen anything yet," sneered Andrew. "That tree won't stand a chance. Move back everyone, and let The Tank do his work!"
Everyone hastily backed out of the Andrew came up to the tree. Only once they were behind him did Andrew let a flicker of hesitation show in his face.
I have never lifted anything this big before, he thought. What is the best way to get this tree out of the way?
He thought of simply rolloing the tree to the side of the road, but he realized it would be at risk of rolling back down the steep embankment into traffic. So he decided to take on the biggest strength challenge of his life.
Andrew got into the forest on the left side of the road, and lifted the end of the hundred foot trunk slowly in his huge hands.
This will be easy, he thought, realizing the tree was lighted than he had expected. Probably old and hollow. So, should I lift it slowly or quickly? He decided that it would be more impressive to do it quickly, and that the momentum would do most of the work for him.
"Is everyone standing back?' he called out.
"Yes we are!" the crowd of 10 people shouted. "Anytime you're ready."
Andrew took a deep breath, inhaling as much air into his huge chest as he could. He focussed all of his energy into one mighty heave upwards.
All the crowd heard was a mighty roar from the forest, as the tree soared upwards on the broken end and swung like a pendulum into the woods on the right side of the road.
Andrew grinned quietly to himself, but realized he would have to show off once he got into view of the crowd again. So he stepped out of the forest, lifted his arms, threw back his chest and let out a mighty roar of athletic pride. "YEAH!"
Everyone clapped and cheered, and then came forward to greet and thank him personally. Andrew smirked, projecting just the right mix of pride and arrogance to keep the crowd happy. He signed a few autographs and got a few job offers for the winter, before he got to the end of the crowd.
"That was awesome man," the teen who had spoken first, said, as everyone headed back to their cars. "Have you done that before?"
"Yeah man, all the time," boasted Andrew. "It's nothing to me, just a bunch of old wood."
"I'm Mike by the way," the teen said, holding out his hand. "Do you think you could teach me how to do that?"
"Maybe kid," sneered Andrew, squeezing Mike's hand until he grimaced in pain. "In your dreams!"
"Uh, could you let me go please , Mister?" Mike managed through clenched teeth. "Before you break my hand?"
"Sorry man, got carried away for a second, " Andrew said, adrenaline leaving his system in a rush. "I meant to say that I'd be glad to help you reach you full potential, just as I will."
"Thanks, " said Mike, massaging his sore hand. "That's quite a grip you have there. I may not be able to write again!" Andrew looked over and Mike added hastily, "Just kidding! See you in the gym dude!"
"You can count on it," agreed Andrew. "See you around."
He came back to Carrie, who marvelled as Andrew casually switched out of Jock Mode back into the Boyfriend Mode effortlessly.
"Looks like you managed to get rid of the tree with no trouble," she observed with a big grin. "And you thought the attention would bother you!"
"I guess it didn't," said Andrew. "And I managed to get a few job offers for physical work over the winter."
"See, it all worked out," Carrie told him, "as I knew it would."
"Very funny," grinned Andrew, as they headed back to his car. "Worked out, as if we gym jocks only understand one kind of language."
"I didn't anything by it," protested Carrie, slowly backing up as Andrew advanced on her. " I just meant that you took care of everything."
"I know," said Andrew. "i just wanted to give you a peek at Andrew the Jock."
"Maybe I'll get more than a peek later," she purred suggestively. "What do you say Big Boy?"
" Sound good to me," grinned Andrew, flexing his huge bicep. "You'd like to see more of this, wouldn't you?"
"You bet," she grinned back, as he opened the door for her. "But later," she managed, before he wrapped her in a hug hug, and kissed her.
"Stop that! People might be watching us!"
"Noone's going to say anything," Andrew assured her, "or they'll have me to deal with! You don't think anyone would dare mess with me, do you?"
"Not in a million years," Carrie said, as he back to his side of the car.
"Well, now that the fun's over, we'd better get going to Margaret's house," Andrew stated. "Hopefully she will have some more inventive ways for me to work out. I find it very inconsistent having to use trees and boulders."
"Don't worry, " Carrie assured him as they ehaded down the road. "She won't let us down."
Andrew silently agreed, and became excited at the thought of how he could use his great strength next.
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