I pulled a muscle in my shoulder at the gym this morning. It hurts.
In telling this story, a common theme of the stories of men hurting themselves will appear.
So, I was at the end of my workout, and had just one more exercise to do. Bicep curls. Easy enough, right? I go over to the dumbbells. the weight-level I was on was being used by others right then.
I could have a) gone five pounds lower; b) gone five pounds higher; c) waited for the other guy to finish with the weight i wanted; d) found an alternative means of exercising those curling biceps.
Naturally, I should have just waited for the guy to finish with the weights, or found a different way to curl those biceps. At the very least, I should have said to myself, “Self, ’tis the end of my workout and I’m tired, and I can survive just going five pounds lower this time.”
But – drumroll please – there was a *hot girl standing there*!
I was not interested in this girl. I had no desire to flirt, or chat, or in any way, shape, or means ingratiate myself with this hot girl. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was way too old for this hot girl. This is not the point however.
I still did the dumb thing. I went five pounds higher. I know I would have not done this if a hot girl had not been standing there.
And, of course, I pulled a muscle in my shoulder.
Why do we do this, men? Why do we insist on trying to impress women even if we aren’t actually interested in them. If I was married with twelve children, I’d have done the same thing. If I was married to Angelina Jolie with twelve children, I’d have done the same thing. If Helen of Troy was waiting anxiously for me to return from the gym, I still would have reached for the heavier weights. When I am ninety and some hot twenty-something girl is in the weight room, I will likely still do the same thing.
Because I am a man.
Because that is what men do.