Ever since Callaghan started lifting weights seriously… so that would be since March… he’s been in the habit of commenting on the size of the calves he sees on men in the gym. His remarks are always in the context of the proportion of the guy’s calves to the rest of his body, usually to the effect of, “I saw this guy and I don’t understand why guys refuse to work their calves! This one guy’s upper body was massive, but his calves were like twigs! I never forget to work my calves. I don’t want to look like that.” After which we spend a half hour or so debating genetics vs. strength-training for calf muscle shape and development, the merits of various types of calf exercises, plastic surgery (faking it with calf implants) and sheer negligence in training the calves.
I’ve gotten so used to Callaghan vocalizing his observations that when he starts a sentence with “There was this guy in the gym,” I already know that the guy’s calves are the subject of the sentence. Also, I know that there’s a 95% chance that his remark is going to be unfavorable. Every once in a while, he’ll tell me about a guy he saw with well-proportioned calves. And there’s one guy in particular whose calves he greatly admires. I remember the first time he mentioned him.
“There was this guy in the gym,” he began. He’d just come home.
“…and he had skinny little calves,” I finished for him.
“No! His calves were beautiful!” he exclaimed, surprising me. He went on to effusively praise the beauty and magnificence of not only the guy’s calves, but of his entire physique.
After that, every time Callaghan saw this guy in the gym, I heard about it afterward.
Then Callaghan started working full-time and had to cut back significantly on his weight-lifting. He still does the Body Combat classes with me twice a week, but for now, he’s only lifting weights on Wednesday evenings (while I’m in boot camp class), and sometimes once on the weekend, usually on Sundays.
“I haven’t seen the guy with the beautiful calves in a long time,” he said at one point. But on Wednesday night last week, when I met up with him after our respective workouts, he gushed, “You know how I said I haven’t seen the guy with the beautiful calves in a long time? He was here tonight, and he came up to me and said, ‘Hey, I haven’t seen you here before.’”
“Hahaha!!” I didn’t know why I thought that was hilarious, but for some reason, I did.
“His name is John. He introduced himself. I asked him, ‘Wow, what do you do to have beautiful calves like that?’”
That was exactly what Callaghan said. Imagine it in a French accent. Quite a pick-up line!
“What did he say?”
“That he has to thank his Mom. So I wanted to ask if his Mom had big calves, too,” he said, starting to laugh. “But I didn’t. Although I don’t think he would’ve minded.”
So we know that in this case of the Guy with Beautiful Calves, it’s genetics at play… and maybe it’s the beginning of a beautiful new gym bromance for Callaghan. The immediate effect of this whole thing, though, which I find kind of distracting, is that now I’m always checking out the lower legs on the males of our species. Yesterday, when I was talking to a guy at work, I found myself staring at his calves and thinking, he has nice calves! I laughed, but not out loud.