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Gym of Dreams: Mike
|This was the hardest day in my life. Muscles I didnít even know I had hurt. I can barely walk up these stairs to bed. My dad put me through a lot in training, but it was nothing like this; Armstrong demanding power and Sam demanding precision, both of them being relentless and accepting nothing but perfection. It was tiring, but satisfying. I felt good when I did well and saw their accepting faces. But boy am I tired now. I collapse on my bed and look at the nearby clock. Itís only 10 pm and Iím dead tired. But I still have to shower. I slowly crawl to the shower and let the water wash over me. As Iím bathing, I think about all thatís happened today.
"Armstrong was right. I was holding back. Pain really doesnít matter. Sure it hurt like hell when he hit me, but he didnít hit me full power. I didnít break anything and I feel ok now. I feel like I really tried and it felt good. My body might not agree with me tomorrow though."
"And Sam. What can I say about him? He makes everything seem so precise. I wouldíve just thought if I hit the guy hard enough he would move, but Sam makes it seem more of an art than just uncontrolled rage. He makes it seem simple too. If he wears his pads like this, hit him like so. If heís this size, his center of gravity is here. His pads are slack here. He seems to have so much knowledge. Iím very glad I found them."
"The food was really good all day. Different than what my parents cook, but still healthy tasting. And Sam and Armstrong are really free around each other. Iíve never seen two guys so comfortable with themselves and each other. But who can blame them? Their bodies look so good. Even without doing that much of a workout today, their muscles are still tight and firm and bulging with power. They hold themselves with such pride and majesty, it makes me proud to be their friend. And of course, their manhood is nothing to be ashamed of. They have everything I aspire to be: hardworking, huge, kind, tough, and respectful. That is my goal. I will stand up one day and be like them."
The waterís getting kind of cold now. I guess I should get out. That feels so good and the bed looks so very comfortable. I put on my boxers and fall on top of it, barely getting under the covers. As I drift off to sleep, I think I hear stuff moving and people talking in Armstrongís bedroom, but Iím sure itís nothing.
So very tired.
Thatís how life was for Mike for the next several months. We worked him hard in the gym and on the weekends. He trained almost 7 days a week, working diligently to be like us and his father. And heís growing too, steadily as time passes. For the first months, he remained around the same height but was packing on lots of bulk and muscle. He grew from around 100lbs to close to 225 of solid mass. Then his growth spurt started to hit. We watched as he grew taller and taller, almost everyday it seemed he grew half an inch. "Little Mikey" truly grew into "Big Mike". By the time a year had rolled around, Mike had grown almost a half a foot in height and was up to 230 lbs of lean muscle. Everyone congratulated on his change and he felt good. We took pictures of him every month and you could see the change from a scrawny, unsure kid, to a confident powerful teen. His pictures showed the gradual, but evident change from his former 5í tall, 100lb frame to his current 5í6íí 230lbs mass.
Then Mike told us it was football tryout time. We went to the mall and bought him some pads and some baggy t-shirts. He really wanted to show the coaches and players who he havenít interacted with in a year what he was made of. After putting all the equipment on, he looked like a normal teen. The baggy shirt and pads hid his bulging chest and broad shoulders decently, and you couldnít see his ripped abs. The only thing that stood out was his powerful arms and his well defined legs. Mike found that if he relaxed enough, his arms didnít stand out too much, but there was nothing he could do about his legs. "Iíll just attribute it to all the running I did," Mike smiled. We knew he was ready to show his former mockers.
Armstrong and I arrived at the school early so we could get passes to get on the campus. As we strolled through the halls, we saw all kinds of kids. Some of my old feelings came back, and I wished that I could help them. They need to find the gym for themselves I told myself and I dropped Joeís cards in a lot of their lockers. If they come, theyíll get help, I said to Armstrong.
We arrive at the field and we stand on the sidelines. Mike runs up to us as hyper as ever and tells us heís glad we came. We say weíre anxious to see what heís learned and Mike responds that heís anxious to use it. "My god I hope he doesnít kill anyone," I whisper to Armstrong after he leaves. Armstrong chuckles and says "He learned your control, he shouldnít. Shouldnít." We both burst into laughter as the rest of the team runs onto the field.
Warm ups are interesting. First they have to run laps, which Mike easily does, keeping ahead of almost everyone. Then thereís stretching, jumping jacks, push ups and other exercises. Armstrong and I survey the team. Mike is doing everything with no problem, but there are people who are getting tired already. Whether theyíre first timers or long standing players, we donít know.
Then the moment the 3 of us were waiting for: Lineman try-outs. Mike is standing in the middle of the line of new hopefuls. We look over them as they try to move this large senior, which Iím assuming is the same guy that dashed Mikeís hopes last year. Most are bigger than Mike by sheer dimensions, but none of them have his muscularity. Most of them move the test subject a bit and slip by him. They are considered to pass. Some canít move him and walk back to the coach for other assignments. I see the disappointment on some of their faces and know thatís how Mike felt last year.
Then Mike is up. We move closer so we can watch. It was the most beautiful and painful thing Iíve seen in a long time. Mike stood in his three point stance perfectly. The senior leaned down a bit. Mike looked up at him with a pair of cold and determined eyes. The coach blew his whistle and Mike hit him with a giant crunch, lifted him under his pads and carried him almost 5 yards before slamming him to the turf. As Armstrong and I watched this display, ending with the seniors head bouncing off the ground, we both give a resounding "YES!" Mike stands up and looks at us, seeing us cheer him on and then looks at the coach, who stood there shocked. Mike trots up to him and says, "How was that coach?" The coach closes his mouth and responds, "Real good ummmÖ." as he shuffles his list searching for a name. Armstrong and I walk over and say, "This hereís Big Mike Evans, our buddy. Heís your new defensive lineman."
"Way to go Big Mike," Armstrong congratulates him as we punch him a bit. "Yeah, I think you knocked the wind out of that guy" I comment as I point to the kid still trying to get up.
"You know, I thought it was gonna be hard, but when I hit him like you guys trained me, it felt like he was light as a feather. I probably couldíve carried him further, but I felt I should stop and let him down." Mike comments
"Yeah man, we were glad you didnít kill him." Armstrong laughs.
"I just feel so powerful now. Itís like a rush." Mike flexes an arm. "I canít believe this is really my body. I feel like a new person now." He flexes some more. "You guys are really awesome."
"You did the work man; we just helped you along the path." I say.
"But donít think this lets you off the hook for our stuff." Armstrong comments.
"No man, I would never stop working out with you guys. I mean, look at some of these guys." Mike waves his arm around at the rest of the guys working and trying out. "I used to look up to these guys when I was small. Now they seem small to me. I know theyíve been working longer than me, but they donít have these results." Mike flexes some more. "I know it sounds conceited, but Iím better than they are. Itís because you two made me better. I donít want to lose what I have and I doubt anyone in this whole building is as dedicated as you two."
We jab Mike in the shoulder and say, "Weíre always here for you man."
Mike goes back over with his new team, standing tall and proud. Armstrong and I beam with pride; our young prodigy has grown into a respectful teen. We watch the dayís practice and are disappointed when it ends in about two hours. Mike is still hyper as ever when practice has ended while the rest of the team is tired. "Man guys, that was so awesome. I feel great," Mike said as he bounced up and down on his calves. "Hey guys, letís go work out!" Armstrong and I look at each other and agree. We wait for Mike to change out of his practice clothes into his gym clothes and meet us back outside.
Armstrong and I meet Mike outside the schoolís weight room. Heís wearing the sleeveless t-shirt I gave him long ago and heís close to filling it out. Armstrong and I didnít wear good shirts to workout in, so we just take our shirts off and tossed them in our vehicles. We walk into the schoolís weight room and it looks pretty decent. There are a few machines and a bunch of benches and plenty of free weights. "Thisíll do for a light workout," Armstrong says and we all burst into laughter. Mike is the first one up. He is still hyped from football practice and is lifting bigger than normal. We follow suit with our normal weight and Mike is keeping up good, a mere 75lbs behind us. We hit the bench machine and I happen to notice that weíre drawing a little crowd. I jab Armstrong in the side with my elbow and point. He smiles and goes to spot Mike. Mike hasnít noticed the crowd yet, but we put 325 on it. He goes for 10 reps and we push him to do 12. He pushes it out hard, grunting the last rep. We rack the weight and he turns and stands up and notices a large portion of his new team standing there, mouths wide open in shock. He looks at us and we smile. He then looks at his teammates and does a double bi pose, flexing as hard as he can. You can see every muscle on his body rippling, both from the intensity of pump and the flex. I watch as the people who are watching gawk in awe at the spectacular showing Mikeís giving them. I see some of their eyes drift lower on him as the rest stay fixated on his bulging biceps. We pat him on the shoulder and say "Way to go Big Mike." He smiles a huge grin at us and piles on our additional 75lbs so we can do our benches.
Armstrong and I try not to show off too much, but Mike is enjoying himself greatly. The people dispersed a bit, but they still looked from a distance, and Mike was giving them a show. Heís taken off his shirt and he flexes after ever set. You can see the definition on his body and every muscle is pumped. Even though heís only doing chest today, his arms are full of blood and his veins are showing the power he now possesses. He looks to us and says, "I know I shouldnít be showing off. I donít even know why Iím doing it. But it does feel good." Armstrong whispers, "Donít worry about it man. You deserve the looks youíre getting. Just donít forget where you came from, and never forget where youíre going."
"I can never forget you guys. Each time I stand in the mirror, I see the work that youíve done. I know that if I stop, Iíll lose these gains," he says as he points to his arm. "No one here is near as hardcore as you guys, and Iíve grown to love how much you guys push me. If anything, youíll see more of me." Mike smiles as I finish up my set and we both give him a giant hug.
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