pinningmuscle's blog

Idle Worship

Growing up many of us have spent time idolizing a certain hero. Perhaps it was a sports figure. An actor. Hell even a neighbor. In my case — and in the case of many a sexually confused young teenager— I had a fascination with my junior high school gym teacher. Mr. Maggio. The guy knew how to make a great first impression. He was exciting. Animated. Related to all students. Plus he had that Italian swagger I was raised to admire. Toss in a rough, masculine — not quite handsome face — that topped of the muscled body you’d expect from a freshly minted teacher.

Maggio had arms that likely were as big as some 7th graders waists. You could land a jet on his shoulders and his pecs defied the cotton fabric of this one size too small t shirt. He embodied the jock. Toss in that he was probably just slightly taller than the average kid in junior high and he related well to us. He was one of those gym teachers who coaxed the athlete out and any kid and nurtured the jocks to perform at their best. We loved him. Admire him. And idolized him.

The funny thing about my junior high was, that by the time spring rolled around; it was less about learning and more about having fun. Assemblies were big and student/teacher activities exploded. We did everything from student teacher basketball games to teacher talent shows. Pretty much anyway that we could forgo the tedious classroom stuff— we were down.

Mr. Maggio of course lead the pack for coming up with creative ideas. His talent of pull-ups at the teacher talent show proved his biceps weren’t for show. That year our junior high wrestling team placed first in regional competitions. (I was a proud member of that team and in my second year of participating. Unlike my first year, I was winning.) To celebrate this accomplishment Mr Maggio challenged the wrestling coach to a match. It was part of a sports assembly that included free throws, crab soccer and other gym class activities.

My wrestling coach was a good guy. Fit. Athletic and also a gym teacher at the school. But he wasn’t Mr. Maggio. Mr Carson had more of a nerdy vibe. Thick glasses. A suburban soccer dad body fueled by the basic fitness routine and flavorless meatloaf. Sure he was the wrestling coach, but even though he and Maggio were basically the same weight; nothing about them compared. Maggio had biceps that bulged, pecs that bounced and legs that looked like they could withstand a hurricane. Carson looked like the standard issue gym teacher that could climb the rope in under 3 minutes. And then painstaking tell you every inch of the climb. And nothing would bulge or flex even after that exertion. Nothing.

I wasn’t the only one riveted to this contest. A lot of the school showed up and paid attention to this one. Maggio stepped on to the mat first in his navy blue gym teacher shorts and gray “Navy” tank top. As if he needed to accentuate this shoulder or arms. The dude was focused and menacing to those of us who idolized him. (98% of the student body) Carson came out in those same circa 1975 gym teacher shorts in black. He opted for the Hanes white t shirt he grabbed from his underwear drawer that morning. In sizing them up, few of us gave Carson a second look. Maggio, in his tank top showed off the arms I know was fascinated by. It was Superhero vs Clark Kent’s nerdier tutor.

One of my fellow students and a member of the wrestling team served as the referee. He blew the whistle and the match started. To no surprise, Maggio made the first more and dropped the coach to his back with a nicely executed double leg takedown. He maintained his aggressive approach but couldn’t successfully lock in any hold for long. Carson went on a solid defense and kept things even. The two stayed on each other and Maggio ended the period with a nice little lead. I was happy. And I got to see that muscle in action and control.

Round two started and Mr. Carson quickly erased Maggio’s lead and went on the offense. Muscle was being tossed all over that mat. Maggio would wiggle his way out of a hold only to be tossed back down. Again. And Again. And then yet again. Maggio never gave up... in my mind. But as round two rolled on, Carson went for the pin. He secured a half Nelson and used his nothing-more-than-average-shoulders to flatten the muscle bound shoulders of Maggio down. Watching him try to bridge out was a sight to behold. But all of that muscle was in control. The hero was defeated. Pinned. Flattened.

While Mr. Carson earned the respect, my memory was all about Mr. Maggio. The perfect specimen fell short. He lost. And worse yet got pinned. A part of him was diminished. Until he spoke. He admitted defeat. Joked about show muscles. And reminded us that we can’t win them all.

As I reflect back on this memory, I recall how I let my idolizing get the best of me. I saw my hero learn a lesson, but also learned that even the more impressive of us are gonna get our asses kicked from time to time. We pick ourselves up. Lick our wounds and figure out a way to win in the next round. That’s life. And during a pandemic it’s an important message to know.

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Last edited on 3/26/2021 5:33 PM by pinningmuscle
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Comments (23)

bnjifghtr (0) 14 days ago

Awesome blog entry . . . and excellent writing skills my friend . . loved it !

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Newbie in need (4) 14 days ago

Great story.
Is there an x rated version ?

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bnjifghtr (0) 14 days ago

(In reply to this)

Yeh it is bro
btw I would def wrestle you dude

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Licra (3) 14 days ago

My dream. Smoky dreams come back to my mind.

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Licra (3) 14 days ago

My dream. Smoky dreams come back to my mind.

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elpectoral (9) 14 days ago

What a story! authentically told by a fighter's heart. Great writing skill!
Guess many of us had Maggios - even several ones in various life episodes. To me it didn't feel right then, but now it does!!

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pinningmuscle (0) 14 days ago

(In reply to this)

Glad I made sense of it.

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canwrestle (37 ) 14 days ago

Great story. Thanks for posting.

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Padawan (1) 13 days ago

Beautifully written

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pinningmuscle (0) 13 days ago

(In reply to this)

Thanks man.

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Padawan (1) 13 days ago

Beautifully written

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commandertc (27) 13 days ago

Great story, love muscles but even better when they get beat by the underdog

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TexasSlim (0) 11 days ago

Our Mr Maggio was the wrestling coach. Arms and chest thst would be at home on Mr America. He was a NCAA semi finalist in one of the heavier weight classes. All the boys envied him and the girls adored him

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Muftii (8) 10 days ago

Thanks for great story and message - Well done

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Palaman (27 ) 9 days ago

Drooling after reading

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HarborFighter (58 ) 4 days ago

Love this story. My hero was a boxer. Rocky Marciano. Undefeated World Heavyweight Champion. I saw him box on TV as a very young boy and immediately knew I wanted to be like him and be around other men like him. I always say I came out at age 5 because of Marciano. By the time I was a teen I had worked through any worry about craving men or about being turned on by boxing. I was not confused at all as a teen. I knew I was a boy who would grow into a man and become a boxer and become a man who loves other men. And that's exactly what I did.

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pinningmuscle (0) 4 days ago

(In reply to this)

That’s why are are so well liked too!

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elpectoral (9) 4 days ago

(In reply to this)

Thanks for all this strength and confidence. You're a role model.

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Palaman (27 ) 4 days ago

(In reply to this)

He’s an idol

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pinningmuscle (0) 4 days ago

(In reply to this)

As are you.

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wrestleuinla (40) 4 days ago

well done big guy ! great life lesson and story.

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pinningmuscle (0) 4 days ago

(In reply to this)

Thanks man!

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Mainewrsl (32) 16 hours ago

Excellent story, and well written, as we cv have come to expect. I remember both admiring and being intimidated by my high school gym teacher. Now I'm turning into the jock he was.

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