He stood there and he opened his eyes back up, they were bloodshot and tear filled and his pupils were so dilated that the blue of his eyes was gone and it was pure black, it reminded me of one of those videos of a great white shark taking a bite.
Then he and the bar dropped. At first I thought he may have passed out but he didn’t, he put his hand up to let us know he was ok. People started to f*cking clap, I looked around at them and couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.
As he kneel down catching his breath, I walked up and crouched next to him, and said “That was the most spectacular thing I have ever seen in my life, nice lift bro.” He was still panting but he nodded, so I know he heard me.
Then one of the gym tards yelled out “DAMN PIGPEN GET OFF THE JUICE DUDE!!!” I swung around, I didn’t even think about what I was doing, some 30 some year old yuppie f*ck with an underarmour tank top and a stick physique. I grabbed him by his arm as he tried to walk away, he swung around looking at me in surprise and I looked him in the eyes and I said “HIS F*CKING NAME IS CRAIG…C-R-A-I-G…CAN YOU SPELL ASSHOLE?!!”.
The idiot looked at me embarrassed and replied in a low tone “I’m sorry man, his name is Craig” then he looked at my hand still grasping into his flesh and I quickly let him go. I turned to look back at Craig and he was sitting on a bench and staring at me, he just looked at me and nodded, I nodded back.
Craig still went to the gym for about another year, I talked to him frequently there about training and bodybuilding, I often reminisced about the day we did deadlifts, at this point I was lifting 585 on deads, and all because of Craig’s tutelage.
After that year Craig disappeared, Chris told me he hadn’t seen him, but heard he moved to another state. Craig and I only spoke at the gym, he had no cell phone, I had never seen his place and I had never even had any clue where he lived.
But though I barely knew the guy, I considered him one of my closest friends.
The years went by and I trained hard entered my first show, even managed to make it to Nationals. I always wondered what happened to Craig, I wanted to talk to my old friend and get his advice like I had when I was just starting out, he always had the simple answers, so many of the training gurus tried to make things complicated, and Craig just had a sentence or two to say and was spot on with his advice.
Then one day after a workout I went home, there was a police car in front of my house. I walked up and there were two officers walking towards me, they asked me if I was Jay, I told them I was, they informed me Craig had passed. I asked how, they told me he died in his sleep. So I asked them why they were telling me this, and the one officer replied that Craig had no known family members still living and that his only will and testament stated that I was his next of kin.
Continues on page 9 …