The mystery of the five-pound barbells

Saturday marked the third time I couldn't find the five-pound weights at my new gym. Tossing aside my "lazy Saturday" tradition, I drove (note: the parking garage is closed on Saturdays, meaning I had to pay for street parking, meaning I had to drop $2 worth of quarters into a meter, meaning I didn't have enough quarters to wash a load of towels. NOTE TO SELF: ride the bike on weekends!) to the gym after reminding myself that one of the reasons I switched to this gym was the opportunity it afforded me to work out on weekends.

I go through a lot to enter the weights section of the gym: I pump an energizing mix on my iPod, mentally tell myself that I'm allowed in the weights section, and stride with purpose, dang it. The only thing that protects a girl in the weights section is her sense of purpose. If you show any sign of weakness (i.e. looking around helplessly, wandering the floor), the vultures will be on you in an instant. The best approach is to be purposeful with your actions and look like you just don't give a darn - SO I'M A WOMAN WITH WEIGHTS. DEAL. Now hand over your bench!

Never mind that they're five-pound weights. Again, who cares. NOT ME.

Speaking of those five-pounders, I have no idea who keeps spiriting them away. I've been around long enough to know (or at least spy from a distance) the clientele of this gym and I can see that I'm easily one of the weakest there. Is a fellow weakling keeping them for her (his?) own use? Is there a weakling room I don't know about?

All I do know is that this weakling had to graduate to 7.5-pound weights out of necessity. Too much hesitation = an invitation to come "help" me since I look like I don't know what I'm doing. And I don't really feel like dealing with that on my Saturday morning.

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