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"Sisyphus and the Bench Press"
Color Pencil on Card Stock11"(8.5"
February 1, 2009
(Pushing a heavy burden only to have fall back on your shoulders)

 

 

 

 

Sisyphus and the Bench Press

How so often a man feels compelled to enlarge his muscles through non-necessary lifting of weights. In the distant past, men and women gained great strength through hefting giant blocks to build pyramids, load large stacks of hay or swing sledgehammers to create train tracks. When mankind invented ways in the form of machines to take the burden off our ever-strained backs to do such deadly work, we also invented a place of equal torture devices. It is a place of great physical torture and embarrassment. It is known as the Gym.

The bench press is one the more pointless and unrewarding machines. With a free weight bench press, more and more you find yourself seconds away from death because of the chance of slipping your grip or strength and having the bar fall on your neck and strangling you. A bench press weight machine is safer but some how pointless.

As I sat watching this young man lifting a bench press apparatus, I noticed his eagerness to strain every muscle in his body. The veins and blood vessels popped and started turning red, purple, blue, even white through out his body as he lifted the weights attached to his bar over his chest. His mighty arms flexed as well as his back, abdominal muscles, pectoral muscles raged and his feet shuffled with the help of his legs to grip the earth below him to heave this weight up higher above into the air. Once his arms were fully extended, he exhales in triumph as he has succeeded in showing his strength in achieving this task of lifting 230 pounds, two pounds more than yesterday. Yes, he has finally achieved his goal.

Now with a grunt, the bar falls to his chest and he must do the entire process over again, and again, and again. ~ ( Tim Benjamin )

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king punished in Tartarus by being cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll down again, and to repeat this throughout eternity.

Today, Sisyphean can be used as an adjective meaning that an activity is unending and/or repetitive. It could also be used to refer to tasks that are pointless and unrewarding. ( Wiki )

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