Today was my first day back on weights since before the training for the adventure race - about 10 months or so. I haven't really seen a need to lift, what with all this cardio conditioning I've had to do for racing and whatnot. So, for my first day back on the weights, did I play it smart and go a bit easy? Or did I just mindlessly leap back into the routine I was doing back when I was lifting regularly?

Hmm... Let's see... Knowing what you know about Joe, which do YOU think?

Even so, I managed to push the weight, but it felt heavy in my hands and across my back, and that will mean doom and destruction over the next few days.

I haven't been to Bally's in a few weeks, and in those few short weeks, the freaks of fall have decided to join up. There are 2 muscular guys who have pretty good bodies, except that they insist on showing them off around the gym. I'm sorry, but a peice of fabric a little less than an inch wide at each strap coming down over your nipples and meeting at another inch wide peice of fabric at your waist is NOT the "t-shirt with sleeves" that is requested of each person working out on the signs posted every 5 feet across the gym.

There's a guy who has been coming to Bally's for about 6 months now (and I assume the past 3 weeks, even without me there), he always seems to show up when i do and he always seems to grab the crosstrainer or treadmill next to me - it doesn't matter what day it is, if i'm on a treadmill, he's on a treadmill; if i'm on the x-trainer, he's on the x-trainer - and he's ALWAYS NEXT TO ME. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for a few factors:

1) he's at least 65 years old, so he grunts and moans with each and every movement - not to mention that his breathing is extremely belaboured, because:

2) he ALWAYS smells like a mixture of Mitchum anti-perspirant and cigarette smoke, which just POURS from his mouth because:

3) he ALWAYS insists on speaking to me the entire time we're working out. I'll be pushing along, doing my thing, and I'll hear this noise from the other side of my right earphone. I'll pretend not to hear it, knowing EXACTLY what it is and hoping that - maybe, just maybe, this time - he'll give up. But no. He'll call my name repeatedly, and this annoys me, because:

4) he thinks my name is short for Joseppi, which he has taken the liberty of dubbing me.

So, the entire time I'm trying to focus on blazing foward on the machine I'm on, my head down and my eyes squinted and my bottom teeth biting my top lip, this guy - I call him either Smokey or Yurtle The Turtle, depending on my mood - is hounding me by calling me the wrong name with breath that smells like a Marloboro plant has been set ablaze and is burning so hot that it caught the deodorant factory next to it on fire. And I'd tell him to just bug off if it weren't for the fact that his outfit, which always consists of a headband and NO LESS THAN 3 armbands - and sometimes more - per arm - always makes me crack up laughing.

He adds a little extra challenge to my running, that's for sure.