Are the Jock and the Nerd are natural enemies? Nay! ‘Tis the vilest of lies. The Jock is the Nerd’s protector, and the Nerd is the Jock’s benefactor.
The next time, Jock, you blast 450 on the incline bench, know that it took a Nerd to calibrate the mass of your free weights. And next time, Nerd, you board a subway dressed as a Klingon and return unscathed to Instagram about it, trust that a Guardian Jock watched over you. In the weight room of life, one spots the other in aeternum.
So let us celebrate The Brotherhood of the Jock and the Nerd with a list of work-outs worthy of us both.
As any Nerd will tell you at length, episode eighteen, season one of Star Trek, (titled “Arena,”) contains some of the most impressive feats-of-strength ever shown on television. (Well, technically it was the nineteenth production and the eighteenth episode, but let’s keep it simple.) Nefarious Metrons force Captain James Tiberius Kirk, the ultimate Jock-Nerd hybrid, into a hand-to-hand battle-to-the-death with a Gorn. That’s right, son: a Gorn. Using only his wits and his tri’s, Kirk lands a vicious blow against the Gorn by lifting a biggish rock over his head and tossing it at him/it. It’s a total bad-ass move to which even the jockiest Jock would hoist a protein shake in salute. Of course, Gorns being Gorns, the rock bounces of its scaly chest, and the dude/thing picks up an even bigger rock and chucks it Kirkward. Here the captain’s Nerd side takes over and he runs away, but you get the idea: find a large rock, lift it over your head, and throw it at something or someone.
Reps: four sets of ten.
I have neither seen nor read, and will never see nor read, Harry Potter because I am a grown-ass man. Even still, I hear the movies and books feature a bad-ass game like hockey called, “Quidditch.” To play, you don’t need flying broomsticks and magic: you just need an imagination! Build quaffles and bludgers out of any balls you have lying about or, if you are a Nerd, any polyhedrons. Make sure bludgers are made of iron, though. Wikipedia says you need a Golden Snitch too, which is “the size of a walnut,” so what the hell, use a walnut. In place of magic broomsticks, get some BMX trick bikes. Be sure to use aluminum softball bats to whack at stuff. The goal is to get a quaffle, bludger, or walnut into one of the three goals of the opposing team.
Scoring: first team that gets to eleven, win by two; no substitutions.
3. Webster’s Third International Dictionary Preacher Curls
Linguist Philip Babcock Gove made history in 1961 by including the words “irregardless” and “ain’t” in the third edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary without any usage correction. Thus began the war between “descriptivists” and “prescriptivists” that rages among grammar Nerds to this day. If you know what those words mean, you are one or the other and you own a copy. Weighing in it at 12.5 pounds, Webster’s 3rd is by far the heaviest thing most Nerds will ever lift. True, it’s not much for an experienced POWERLIFTER, but it’s a good entry-level blast-tool for the bicepless half-man.
NERD VERSION: Grab your heavily notated, dog-eared copy of the 3rd. Lean across a writing desk and rest your elbows against the edge. Bend the dictionary towards your chest repeatedly until you want to cry. JOCK VERSION: affix a lectern to your chest and a 45-pound plate or kettlebell to the sole of each shoe. Place the 3rd onto the lectern and increase your word power while doing 100 pull-ups.
4. Giant Rubik’s Cube
Many Jocks claim the Rubik’s Cube is too difficult to solve. Really, it is too light to bother lifting. So what better way to prove that ours is--aye!—a True Brotherhood than to fuse the Nerd’s love of the trivial and the pointless with the Jock’s love of picking things up and putting them down repeatedly? [With all due respect to copyright laws and international trademark statutes]: build a Rubik’s Cube approximately 4 feet by 4 feet and weighing at least 700 pounds. The Jock will lift the parts, the Nerd will make them spin and, slowly, one will bequeath to the other his gift. Within a generation a Nerdjock master-race will emerge that, in the words of 18th century Nerd-poet Alexander Pope, will:
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old time, and regulate the sun.
It’ll be a boss time, believe me. But we’ll only get there… together.
Reps: until you get a complete side.