Monday, December 29, 2014

It's all inspiration...

That sums up the theme for today nicely.

There is a group of men that work out at the gym I go to; I've mentioned them before. The Alpha Male Racquetball Club. They are there when I get to the gym in the morning. Four upper middle age men. Really intense game of racquetball. They have weekly "championship matches" and keep track through the year. I wonder if they use the work out time to burn off testosterone before going in to the office or to build it up. I've got entire stories woven around these guys and the group that comes in after them.

See the Alpha Males are there when I get there. Then they leave about halfway through my workout. Then the group I call the Betas come in. These three guys are older than the Alphas by probably 15-20 years. Maybe less for the oldest of the Alphas, but he has a few years on the next closest in age in his own group. Anyway, the Betas come in after the Alphas have cleared out. Their game is a little slower and lot less grunty and I've never heard them talk about championship games or even keeping track of who wins.

Today they were both there at the same time. Which was sort of weird. Not just because it's not the normal time for the Betas to be there but because the gym itself was a lot less crowded than normal. Still working holiday light hours. The normal earlier people didn't seem to show up as they weren't leaving when I got there, and the group I normally workout with was light. Though there were a lot more people showing up as I was leaving so I think people slept in a bit before heading in. So if anything I would have expected the Betas to come in even later than normal, not earlier. Anyway, the Alphas were having their End Of Year Tournament (that's not something I made up, it's what they called it) and the Betas were having a game or two. I watched from the treadmill during my warm up and then listened while I was on the machines and watched again as I finished on the treadmill. They were just wrapping up as I was.

Two games right next to each other. I watched them all play. And wondered why the Betas were there so early. And then I realized why, it was so obvious.

Whoever lost the end of year tournament would have to move to the Betas. And if one of the Betas had some sort of miraculous turnaround during the year, ("I was suffering from Low T, now look at me!") he would be moved up. Of course! Bring in the Betas as motivation for the Alphas. I wondered when the current Betas had been moved down. There is one member of the Alphas who is definitely closer in age to the Betas than the other Alphas. And there was an Alpha that seemed to drop out this year, his eyesight was getting bad in one eye, I'm guessing once he realized it and knew it was either move to the Betas or quit he just decided to take up golf...

So I wonder if the oldest Alpha knows he's not long for his group. Will he move gracefully down to the Betas? Or will he just disappear like Mr. Blind in One Eye? Or is his goal to hang on even longer and force one of the younger Alphas out? The guy with the ever growing bald spot seems a likely choice, he doesn't seem quite a cutthroat as the other three. And do the Betas really hold out hope for moving back up? Or are they slightly relieved that they can slow down a little? Play the game a little more relaxed? I have never seen a Beta get beaned by a ball but the Alphas do it all the time. WHACK! I imagine a few weeks without bruises and Bald Spot might decide being a Beta isn't all that bad.

Now of course, these guys probably don't know each other at all. The Alphas are probably all just friends from work or a neighborhood or just the last hold outs from when racquetball used to be really popular. The Betas are probably retired guys who have played together for years. Everyone doing it because it keeps them active and working with other people keeps them motivated to show up. All of that normal stuff...

But it's so much more fun to imagine that there is a complex ranking system going on and what all could be happening behind the scenes. Like did Mr. Blind in One Eye start losing his sight because of normal aging issues or was there a little something spread in his goggles? And was it by the aging Alpha ensuring his position in the group would stay secure or a bitter Beta who was forced out last year?

Hmmmm.... I'll have to keep a watchful eye out for treachery this could be very interesting...

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