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  #1   Add to philat99's Reputation   Report Post  
Old November 10th, 2009, 09:56 PM
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Buff & Buffer

Buff & Buffer

I was cutting the grass and just took a break when my neighbor boy, Tommy, poked his head over the fence.

?Man, Mr. Johnson, you sure are buff!? young Tommy admired. ?How long did it take to get that build??

Shirtless, thirty-eight years old, six foot four, 290 pounds, I, Ted Johnson, looked way down at Tommy and proudly answered, ?Twenty years and 5 days!?

This, of course went way, way over poor 13 year old Tommy?s head. How could he know that precisely, and WHY would he know that exactly? So, not being put off in the least he followed up questioning, ?How come you know so exactly, Mr. Johnson??

With a mellowing expression and the beginning of a smile, I revealed to young Tommy, ?That?s exactly how long I was in the Marine Corps. I retired after twenty years and it took an extra five days for the paper work to be completed.?

?Can I become a Marine like you??

?Not just yet, but in a few years you may still have the desire.?

?Then can I start doing whatever you did when you joined, so I can get a head start??

Mulling it over a minute, wondering how my neighbor?s kid just discovered me when I?d been living here for a few years, I said, ?Let me talk with your parents.?

?Well, actually you can?t, Mr. Johnson. Their both gone and I?m living with my grandma next door.? (God, I really need to meet my neighbors!)

?Okay, then. I?ll need to speak with Grandma. Is she home??

?Oh, no. She works. But she?ll be home around six.?

?So you?re all alone? Every day? No supervision??

?Gram sends me off to school, then after school I come straight home and watch TV or play video games til she gets home.?

Another latch-key kid!

?No exercise? No playground? No friends??

?Nope! Nope! and Nope!?

And a loner as well - a catastrophe waiting to happen!

?Do you have gym in school??

?Yup. But I?m flunking it.?

?You?re in 8th grade, right? You seem to be healthy. Why would you be flunking gym??

??Cuz I can?t do the exercises and don?t really care.?

?How about your teacher? Doesn?t he enforce participation??

?No, SHE doesn?t care what we do, so I just sit and watch. The ones who do what she asks get the grades. I and a few others just flunk. It is kind of fun to watch the muscle kids go through their exercises, though!?

Shit! What a way to run a school! This poor kid?s been deprived and doesn?t even realize it! No wonder he can?t do the exercises! He literally can?t! And, he's a watcher! - tv, video games, muscle boys!

?Tommy, how tall are you??

?The school nurse measured and weighed us last month and I was 4?10? and 82 pounds.?

For a 13 year-old he really seems way under par, but what do I know. I don?t really remember my eighth grade year that well, let alone what I looked like.

?Tell you what, Tommy. When your grandma gets home, ask her to give me a call. We need to get you on the road to buffness!?


?Hey, Janine! It?s Ted Johnson. You still working in peds at the hospital??

?Looks like til the day I retire, Ted. What can I do for...

?My neighbor boy, 13 years old, weak as a twig, weighs 82 pounds, 4?10?. Is that normal for an eighth grader??

?Height and weight seem within a very broad range of normal, but the ?weak as a twig? isn?t. If he?s been running, jumping, climbing, like most boys do, he should have a little meat on his bones and be able to keep up in gym class.?

?There?s the rub, Janine! He?s flunking gym. All he does is go to school, watch in gym, watch tv and play video games. No physical activity.?

?Well, he?s obviously not into junk food, thank God! or he?d be obese as hell! I?d say try to ween him off some of the sedentary stuff he?s doing and just walk or jog to start with. Are you going to ?Big Brother? him??

?Looks like maybe, if his Grandma okays it. Thanks, Janine. I really just needed to know if his body was normal for his age.?

?Glad I could help. Get him exercising. With all your know-how from the Marines, I?m sure he could learn quite a bit. And, give me a call sometime to maybe get together for lunch some day.?

?That?s a deal.?


?Hello, Mr. Johnson? It?s Marsha Downey from next door, Tommy?s grandmother. He told me to call you right away when I got home. Did he do something wrong??

?Oh, no, Mrs. Downey. He just caught my attention this afternoon when he came home from school and wanted to know how I got - so - uh - muscular. I told him it was from being in the Marine Corps and, well one thing led to another, and I realized he?s not been getting any exercise and he told me he?s flunking gym class in school, SO-O-O I figured I?d ask if you wouldn?t mind me mentoring him a bit to help him get into better shape physically.? (Whew!)

?Why that sounds like a splendid idea, Mr. Johnson. I?d seen you working in your yard a few times myself, and you are quite a strapping young man! Tommy desperately needs a man in his life, and I think you?d do very well. I don?t know whether Tommy told you, but both my daughter and son-in-law were killed in a auto accident three years ago, and I?ve been trying to raise him on my own. My husband left this earth ten years ago, so now it?s just Tommy and me to watch out for one another, and I?m sure he still hasn?t fully come to terms with the loss of his parents. Yes, I think a ?Big Brother? like you would fit the bill perfectly. Let me know what plans you have.?

?Well, Mrs. Downey...?

?Feel free to call me Marsha.?

?And just call me Ted. Anyway, I was thinking of starting out with just walking and talking, since he says he has no friends to speak of, at least yet. Then, some jogging and weight lifting with VERY light weights to begin. That?s all I?ve thought of so far. Maybe doing a little baseball and football throwing and catching. We?ll see where we go from there. Sound okay with you, Marsha??

?Go for it, Ted. As you must know, I work an eight hour day and Tommy has at least three hours on his own after school. Maybe you could supervise him doing some of his homework, too, if you don?t mind.?

?That I won?t guarantee. I don?t want to alienate the poor kid before we even get to know one another.?

?Well, maybe eventually, once you?ve grown on one another.?

?We?ll start tomorrow. Tell Tommy to come over when he gets home from school.?


That was the beginning of the rest of my life. I?m called Tom now. My Big Brother, Ted, said Tom is more manly. It?s been 5 years since I met Ted and asked for his help. I can hardly believe that I started my journey at 13 years old, 4?10? and 82 pounds. I met a man who really cared. I was amazed when we went into his garage that first day and he measured me. God, was I a twig! I guess I must have been mighty excited, too, since I even asked if I could measure him, too. He hesitated, but said yes. My Mr. Ted Johnson at age 38: height 6?4?, weight 290; (He stripped down to his shorts!) neck 22?, chest 64?, arms 22?, waist 32?, thighs 34?, calves 20?. Yes, he was ?built? before I fully understood the meaning of the word. He was buffer than buff! I had been mesmerized.

Of course the fantasy and worship was short-lived once he started putting me through my paces. I no longer had time for tv or video games. My ?fun? was now walking - miles. I had never walked so much, EVER! And talk! I never knew there was so much to talk about! The first week my legs were sore, my feet were sore, and then he introduced me to IRON! Oh - my - God! I can?t believe I started out with ONE POUND dumbbells, and nearly dropped them!

I never wanted my grandma so much much in all my life! Please! Six o?clock get here! I - NEEDED - MY - BED! But even more, I needed FOOD! If Grandma?s food bill had been easy to cope with before, NEVER AGAIN! I became an eating machine, a shark. She could barely keep up, even though Ted helped out with the protein shakes and ?healthy? snacks!

It took nearly a year of this grind before I ?discovered? (actually Ted pointed out) bumps on my arms, my chest, my stomach, my legs - MUSCLES! I was growing MUSCLES! All of a sudden it didn?t seem so bad over the past year - on second thought, yes it did. I still was sore on a regular basis - just different places on different days.

I look back on the days of the one-pound weights and have to laugh. Slowly but surely, Ted kept pushing me to more and more weight. Arm curls, bench presses, military presses, triceps curls, sit-ups with weights (still hate working abs!!!), squats, leg raises, and all the rest of the pulling and pushing iron. And the walking had turned into jogging. Meanwhile I had been physically maturing until one day, suddenly, I realized I had lost my ?baby fat? for good! I had become an adolescent - a definately GROWING adolescent.

Now that I?m 18, and I went back to check on those 5 years of monthly measurement updates, I again have to laugh. I NEVER would have or even COULD have gotten to this point without MY Mr. Ted Johnson. He?s now 43 years old and has been pushing himself as much as me - maybe even more so. He?s still the same 6?3?, but now weighs in at 330, neck 24?, chest 64?, arms 26?, waist 36?, thighs 37?, and calves 24? - ALL MUSCLE! MY muscleman!

If he?s buffer than before, I can honestly and proudly say that I?m now in the buff category. Lots of hard work and soreness went into all this growth, along with the struggles of puberty and adolescence, but I had Ted to pull and push me through it all. From the 4?10, 85 pound 13 year-old weakling I now proudly sport a height of 6? even, 200 pounds, neck 16?, chest 45?, waist 34?, thighs 34?, and calves 16?.

I just announced to Grandma and Ted that I?m going into the Marine Corps. Ted gave me my head start. Now I intend to get bigger and buffer than him!


Comments always welcome!
--It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin
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  #2   Add to Mdlftr's Reputation   Report Post  
Old November 11th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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Great muscle growth story!

Interesting that it is told from two perspectives.

Well written and believable.

Thumbs up! Good job!

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  #3   Add to JP71's Reputation   Report Post  
Old November 11th, 2009, 10:54 AM
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If only I'd had Ted living next door to me when I was 13, I'd be a muscle-god by now. Sigh. Nice story, cool when someone goes the full mile to help their fellow man (or adolescent even);-)
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  #4   Add to kezzz's Reputation   Report Post  
Old November 11th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Sounds good.. I'm keen to see how's Ted doing, and certainly how Tom's going with his Marine Corps too.

Potentially two streams of stories happening?
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