Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tuesday Night Gym Report

Following the rule that if your symptoms are above the neck you should exercise while if they're below the neck you should stay home, I went to the gym yesterday evening. Because it was the eve of Yom HaZikaron (Remembrance Day for the soldiers who died defending Israel in battle and for people killed in terror attacks), school ended an hour early. I walked home and called the gym, and discovered that it was closing at 7:00pm. I got there around 5:40, and had a good chest/push workout. Gym was busier than usual as people came in early to get their workout in.

Around ten to seven a guy walks in who had not realised that the gym closes at seven, and the following conversation ensued:

FrazzledGuy: What am I going to do in ten minutes?
Guy 2: Shoulders
FrazzledGuy: But it's only ten minutes
Guy 3: So as they say in the United States: "get your fu##ing sh#t together and lift"
FrazzledGuy: Ok. [does a set of db military presses] Ten minutes.
Guy 2: If you had come in ten minutes later you wouldn't be able to do anything at all.
FrazzledGuy: Oh. You're right.

Ten minutes later he was trying to convince man-in-charge to go have a cup of tea and let him work out a little longer. It didn't work, but the whole thing was funny.

I was doing close grip bench press with just the bar, and between my last two sets a guy comes by and wants to put weight on the bar. I said "hey!" and he said "oh, are you doing something here?". I felt like saying "No, I just painted the bar and I'm waiting for the paint to dry." Sheesh. I don't mind having someone work in, but don't just barge in.

After the gym I went home and watched the Remembrance Day ceremonies on TV. Things began with a siren at 7:59pm, and the lighting of the memorial flame at the Kotel (the Western Wall). Then most channels stopped broadcasting, and those that continued broadcast special programs about the fallen soldiers. This is a tiny country, and it has lost 20 368 soldiers since the War of Independence. Everyone has either lost someone or knows someone who has. Independence Day follows Remembrance Day; tonight the flag will be raised from half-mast to full mast, and the country will move from a day of deep grief to a day of great joy.

We had a special half day program for Remembrance Day with two guest speakers. The first was a former student who had made aliyah to Israel and joined the army. Three of the soldiers in his platoon were killed. He talked about visiting their families every year. He told us about his brigade commander, who, 18 years after losing soldiers, still visits and calls their families.

At 11:00am we stood for the second siren. Much like the siren of Holocaust Remembrance Day, everyone stops, stands and remembers.

The second speaker was author Sherri Mandell, the mother of Koby Mandell. She spoke about grief, transformation, her memories of her eldest son, and the foundation that the family created in his memory.


At 9:18 PM , Blogger chaos said...

Wow, Remembrance day sounds really special. I can't imagine this country really coming to a halt for a similar kind of day. God to know, however, that the US is doing it's part to motivate the time-pressed in other countries. Oh, and thank you for link for lifting technique. I will check it out!


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