Sunday, August 4, 2019

My Week in Incompetence, Shirt-Off Bench Press Guy, Don’t @ Me

This week, I was terrible at many things. It was sort of like a rolling ball of suck; it began with one or two things I was terrible at, which started a momentum of incompetence that just kept gaining speed and mass and that was finally capped off today with a horrible showing at the range, where I couldn’t have hit an iceberg at five yards.

The first thing I was bad at was doing the dumbbell chest press at the gym. This is a new-ish thing for me, but it is not a complicated move by any means. Still, I could not get it right no matter how many times the trainer showed me the correct form. My arms were either not at the correct angle, or they were but I was pushing out wrong with my forearms, or not going down low enough, or my arms were positioned too high on my was one thing after another. Then in the same session, I found out that I’ve been doing the rowing machine wrong all this time and had to course correct on that one, too. I finally told the trainer, “I’m sorry I’m so kinesthetically challenged.” He just laughed and told me to practice.

I was so embarrassed about being bad at the chest press that I had Mr. Typist watch some videos with me and then watch me do the movement and show me where I was going awry. One of the videos was done by a cheerful shirtless guy, who Mr. Typist hated on sight and spent the next few days making ruthless fun of. I don’t know why Mr. Typist was making fun of him. He seems nice and he can do a mean chest press. At any rate, you can see Shirt-Off Bench Press guy in the video below and make your own judgements. (I’m super-serving you this week by giving you a little eye candy and some learnin’.)

As the week wore on, I sent out more than one e-mail at work with dumb typos, I was unable to control my facial expressions during several critical encounters in which facial-expression control was essential, I misread an e-mail from my optometrist which led to a very confusing “Who’s on First?”-type phone conversation, I almost ordered a massive quantity of the wrong-sized items for the hospital’s clothing bank, and today at the range I was laughably terrible and left with my new-found confidence in the dust.  

It’s a little after 4:00 p.m. on a Sunday as I write this, and at this point I'm just hoping to run the clock down to midnight without any major incompetence-related incidents. I’m fairly certain that whatever curse this is will lift itself at the stroke of twelve, and I will start Monday morning afresh and glowing with adequacy. If there are any typos in this blog post, please don’t @ me. 

As promised, here is Shirt-Off Guy demonstrating how to do a proper bench press:

--Kristen McHenry


Dale said...

Heh! I knew immediately from your description it was going to be a Scott Herman video. He evokes that response from lots of men. I'm not sure why, since he seems harmless enough: decorative but thoroughly unthreatening.

My terrible fitness secret is that I don't have a bench, so I make do with pushups and dips, and let my chest languish. Otherwise I expect I would look exactly like Scott, and then I'd have to deal with all that enmity.

Kristen McHenry said...

Hi, Dale! Thank you as always for you for reading. I didn't realize that guy was a known entity. I'll have to check out more of his videos, you know..for...instructional purposes. Yeah, you don't want to be "that guy" and unwittingly earn the ire of other males. Just let that chest be what it is. :) said...

Your delightful post almost inspires me to get back to arm and chest development and bench pressing. Almost! But I really enjoy your writing, Kristen.