I’m always worried by the guys who bring bodybuilding “how-to” books onto the gym floor. My first reaction is similar to when I spot a car with a Student Driver sign: I slowly back away and give him a wide berth. Recently, I’ve been thinking about that scene from Spies Like Us, when Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd attempt an appendectomy by reading through the medical textbook they’re hiding under the operating table.
I’m fairly certain that reading material has no place near exercise equipment. You know what I think of the people who do cardio while reading People. Well today, I saw a guy working out on this “cross trainer” machine (envision a seated StairMaster) with a full blown hardcover novel, complete with tassel dangling from the bookmark. The guy supported himself with his right arm, while cradling the book in his left arm. He cupped his left hand around the top of the book to keep the pages spread open.
I walked by a couple times to see if I could nonchalantly pick up the title of the novel. Unfortunately, this gentleman was bored by his workout and his book, and succeeded in brushing me off with an evil eye.
So, does this man’s absent-minded, indifferent approach to his weekend hobby offend me as a bodybuilder? Actually, no. It offends me as a writer.