I went to the gym this morning and it was a sea of silver hair. I've got a few days off work as Julia is visiting. She fancied a swim so I toddled off for some cardio. I guess it make sense that silver-hair ration was high at 8.30 on a Monday; most people would be busy thinking murderous thoughts about heading back to work after the weekend.
There were about a dozen older gentlemen and I had a great time observing their behaviour from my cross-trainer perch. Some puttered serenely on recumbent bikes or the hand-cycle thing; some zipped along on the treadmill; one bloke tsk-tsked as he tidied weight plates back into their correct spots as some infidel had messed up the system.
Then there was my new hero. He was in shorts and a vest top with manly hairy shoulders. He was kneeling with his head on the floor, a dumbell in each hand. At first I thought, he must be having a little breather. Then he started to move and I thought, cool, maybe he's going to do dumbell planks?
But no. He got into a FREAKING HEADSTAND. Full body, perfectly straight…
… then somebloodyhow he slowly pushed the dumbells in and out along the floor, in and out, in and out. Then he did one side at a time. He just stood there, on his head, working those dumbells, for about three minutes.
I've Googled every combination of headstands + dumbells and can't find a picture or video to explain what he was doing, I am hoping my description makes sense. I can only conclude he made up the move himself; he was just sitting around one day and thought… no, wait… he was just standing around on his head one day and thought, how can I make this look even more astoundingly impressive in front of those old coots at the gym?
Mission accomplished, dude. Minutes later Headstand Hero was cranking out pull-ups like a champ. Jaws dropped around the room.
My workout had been lacklustre up to that point but he totally inspired me. I got on the rowing machine to finish my session with 2000m. I noticed the strapping young man beside me had just set his boat to do the same distance. I challenge thee to a duel! I said to him, in my head.
I rowed furiously through the imaginary sea. We were going at the same pace for ages which I felt mega smug about, but then at about 1500m, 2000m started to feel like an awfully long way, particularly having not been on a rowing machine for about four years. My face was beetroot and my whole body was fried. I glanced over at my rival; he was serene, unsweaty and unaware beneath his headphones. He also had the machine set four levels higher. He beat me by about 30 seconds, damnit. But still, full credit to my Headstand Hero for inspiring me to kick some Monday morning butt!