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Old May 24th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Andrew Prequel Chapter 3

On Sunday, Andrew's father took him to the Company Gym to work out. It was the day after Andrew and Carrie had confessed their feelings for each other. Andrew got a smile on his face every time he thought about his 'girlfriend.'
"I'm very proud of you son," Chad said, as they entered the gym building. "It turns out that you didn't need my advice after all, since Carrie is in love with you as well."
"I'm really excited about that," Andrew said, feeling highly motivated to do well in the gym. "I never realized how great it is to have a girlfriend until Carrie told me she felt the same way. I guess I have another reason to work out now: to get big and ripped for Carrie."
"That would be a good motivation," Chad agreed. "But don't forget that you're here to build up your muscles for football. You're not just here to build a body that you can show off at the beach!"
"Hey good idea Dad!" Andrew shouted. "It may be too late for me to show off any muscles this summer, but just wait until next summer!"
"Not to worry; I'm sure things will work out for you," Chad said, realizing that he was unable to convince Andrew to be modest about his muscles.
"Work out?" Andrew repeated. "Was that a gym joke?"
"More like a jock joke," Chad corrected him. "But you were close."
"What's a jock Dad?" Andrew asked, sure he had heard the term before. "Is that another name for an athlete?"
"A jock is like an athlete," Chad agreed. "But jocks have a cooler image; they're part of the popular crowd at school."
"Like you were?" Andrew asked, grinning at his dad.
"Yeah, I was the big man at high school, and especially at college," Chad agreed. He smiled as he remembered his glory days as a star athlete. "I'm not sure if you realize just how big college football is in the United States. But considering that the big football schools are launching pads for NFL stars, I guess we shouldn't be surprised."
"Do you think I'll end up at one of those big football schools in eight years?" Andrew asked Chad hopefully.
"If you do really well academically and athletically, you'll have no trouble getting full scholarships," Chad assured him. "Maybe you could even get into my old school, the University of Miami!"
"That would be great!" Andrew shouted in excitement. "I would be really happy if I become an NFL star one day!"
"We'd better get started on that road to glory right now," Chad decided. "The fall of 2006, your first year of University, is just over eight years away. Before you know it, it will be time for you to go away to college!?
?I look forward to it!? Andrew shouted in excitement, hiding his nervousness. ?I?m ready whenever you are Dad!?
Andrew was nervous since it was his first time in the gym, but it was empty except for him and his father. So if he made some mistakes, no one would know.
"Don't worry," said Andrew's father. "It won't be long until you can beat me in the bench press, or any other exercise."
"I'll look forward to that," agreed Andrew. "So how do I begin?"
"Just watch me son," replied Mr. Pearson. "I'll show you how it's done."
He slowly picked up a pair of 50 pound barbells and begin lifting them slowly, one arm at a time, keeping his elbows at his sides as he did so.
"Is that all you can do Dad?" Andrew teased him.
"You want me to do my max, giving you something to shoot for?" Mr. Pearson asked Andrew. "Just say the word, and I'll show you just how much the "old man' can lift."
"How much should I start with, as I copy your motions?" Andrew asked, amazed as he watched his father picked up 100 pound barbells in each hand effortlessly.
"Start with the five pound ones," Mr. Pearson replied, motioning with one arm. ?Get the form right first; then you can move on to a challenging weight.?
Andrew was amazed that his dad could point with one arm so casually, even while holding a 100 pound barbell in that hand.
"Pretty impressive, isn't it?" Mr. Pearson smirked, noticing Andrew?s look of amazement. "Good to know I still have my strength, even at 35."
Andrew watched closely as his dad brought up his arms slowly to his chest, and then copied him, as Mr. Pearson held his arms up to his chest. Andrew did the same thing with the five pound barbells. Then they lowered their respective barbells in unison. They both had to stop at 12 reps.
"Good job Andrew," said his dad, breathing heavily. "You did very well for the first time. I think you will be a natural at weightlifting."
"When do you think I will be able to lift you?" Andrew asked, grinning.
"Maybe in a few years," said Mr. Pearson. "Once we start you on the bench press, we will watch it climb until it gets up to 230 pounds. First, we have to use the machines, and small weights, to get your form right. Also, we will have to get your stabilizer muscles strengthened so that you won't have to stick to just machines. Let's try some more exercises now."
Andrew's dad took him through the various machine and free weight exercises one by one, and was pleased with Andrew's form.
?So, now we know that you can start with the 20 pound barbells at home,? Mr. Pearson realized. ?I will buy you a set on the way home. There is just one more strength test to try right now.?
?What test is that Dad?? Andrew asked, breathing heavily from the effort he had put into his first weight training session.
?Give me a punch to see if you can hurt me,? Mr. Pearson ordered him. When Andrew looked at him cautiously, Mr. Pearson added, ?Don?t worry, I?m sure you won?t be able to hurt me yet.?
Andrew?s face turned red with fury and he belted his father in the abs, before his dad could unflex them.
?OWW!? Andrew screamed in pain, as he held up his bruised hand. ?I think I broke my hand!?
?Let me see it son,? MR. Pearson ordered Andrew, taking Andrew?s hand gently. He slowly straightened out Andrew?s fingers, making sure he wasn?t hurting his son further. ?Good, nothing?s broken; it?s just a bad bruise. You have to warn me next time, son, so that I can unflex my abs. I forgot they were as hard as bricks!?
?That?s okay Dad, it was my fault for getting mad and punching you without any warning,? Andrew said shakily, massaging his bruised right hand. ?I guess that will teach me to control my bad temper.?
?It is better to learn that lesson now, when you are with someone you can?t hurt,? Mr. Pearson realized. ?Imagine how much worse you would feel if someone had been hurt, as a result of your punch! That is why you have to promise me something son.?
?What?s that Dad?? Andrew asked, using his good hand to help his father collect their dumbbells and their towels.
?Promise me that you will never deliberately use your great strength to hurt other people,? Mr. Pearson ordered Andrew. ?I want your word on that son.?
?I promise,? Andrew assured his father. ?If I ever get as big and strong as you are, I guess I will have to ask people not to punch me for another reason.?
?What reason do you use now?? Mr. Pearson asked. ?And what reason will you use in the future??
?I don?t want people to hit me now because they might hurt me,? Andrew replied. ?But when I reach your size, I will have to tell them not to hit me because they will hurt themselves!?
?Good thinking son,? Chad commended him. ?Let?s get changed and go home now.?
Andrew followed his dad into the locker room, where they both got showered and changed.
As they were walking to the car, 15 minutes later, Andrew looked back at the gym, and smiled as he looked forward to all the hours he would spend in there.
Sean Lackie
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