Greg Plitt was a fitness model known for many things. From his ridiculously chiseled physique that allowed him to grace the cover of countless health and fitness magazines, to his amped-up motivational videos challenging people to transform their lives through attitude and dedication. He was a man that represented progression and never settled for anything less.
But perhaps the one thing I miss and remember him most for is looking into the camera in the middle of an almost-breathless workout sermon and yelling to the viewer,
“Grab your fucking nuts!!!”
I recently felt those words pound the back of my head and send a jolt of energy through my testosterone. I was enjoying Happy Hour in the company of a few coworkers and taking advantage of one of my four complimentary drinks. At my table were seated three men, ranging in ages from late 40s to mid 50s. Two of them were married and seemingly quite pleased with their lives. The other was thirstier than a third-world soccer player who had played a full 90-minute game due to being cheated on by his girlfriend.
As I sat there helplessly listening to a 50-something’s sob story about a woman 10 years his junior, a cute brunette bartender was standing some 20 feet away from me. She was about five-foot-four with a chest that would make any white guy proud. She turned around so I naturally glanced over to see what she was working with from behind. She had the kind of ass that any self-respecting man, especially one of color like myself, could appreciate. I took notice. So did all 3 of my companions.
“He is single,” yelled one of them.
“And gainfully employed,” added another.
The cheated one added,
“You know, he is a really great guy. You should give him your number.”
The alcohol-fueled debauchery was typical when in the presence of an attractive woman and older guys, particularly married ones. Men who insisted such antics were justified through their belief of temporarily living vicariously through a young single man. Someone that perhaps reminded them of a time when life may have been a bit simpler. Maybe they were younger or more fit or at least felt that way.
Regardless of what it was, it never bothered me. I often went along with the whole thing and the show would usually subside after a few feeble attempts to get Miss X’s attention. This time, however, that would not be the case.
The taunting grew louder and more aggressive in tone. One of the guys went up to the young lady and asked for her number and then insisted on getting an answer when she did not comply. After that, he went back again and tried a second time insisting I “deserved” it and she would owe it to herself to give me a shot. Three guesses as to which Casanova pulled that stunt off.
All of a sudden, these guys are asking me loudly if I would like her number and repeatedly commenting on her beauty as if I was sitting several rows beneath them at Yankee stadium. I caught the girl making several uncomfortable faces and trying to disguise her emotions with bursts of nervous laughter. It was indeed a painful sight to see and hear for those around but even worse to endure.
After witnessing my other coworker make his rounds to remind her about my presence yet again, I had about all I could take and was ready to put an end to the whole spectacle. I did not need anyone playing “match-maker” for me and much less in the way these guys were going about it. I did find the bartender attractive but didn’t want to approach her in a way that made it seem I was being “peer-pressured” by my three coaches.
Maybe it was the fact that I was being tested or just wanting to enjoy the rest of my free drinks minus the buzz kill but whatever it was, I suddenly heard the phrase “grab your fucking nuts” and my legs began to move.
Even the fact that I was in crutches couldn’t deter me. I had so many thoughts and emotions going through my head as I made my way to her that I didn’t even know what was going to come out of my mouth. I mean, sure, she was hot and a notch from her would undoubtably earn a VIP slot on the belt, but to approach her in such a manner after such heckling went completely against my MO. I had more swag in my game, but at the same time, didn’t even know what was “right” anymore as I re-played the entire fiasco in my mind. The trip was short and I stood face to face with her before I knew it.
“Hey” I started with a smile. “Regardless of what you may think, I have never seen those men in my life until today. I promise you.”
Against all odds, my confession was met with a laugh and bashful glance that, to my surprise, broke down her barrier and opened the door for a natural conversation. It would go on for several minutes and end with us making plans for a future date and a kiss from me to her.
The experience taught me great things can happen when we are challenged, but only if you are wiling to take a risk. That risk, no matter how well calculated, might not always give you what you desire but it always gives something. If you win, you achieve satisfaction. If you fail, you become wiser. Remember to embrace the unexpected next time you may be faced with an obstacle or fearful of an outcome.