As he drank water from the fountain he thought of the girl at the front desk. She was young and strong and wore a red “Hemenway Gymnasium” shirt. He smiled at her when she swiped his I.D. card, but they never spoke.

“Come on, David. Stop day dreaming.”

It was his friend Michael. They were both freshmen. They met at IMs and decided to go to work out together. They did it mostly for cosmetic reasons.

“You’re thinking about that girl, aren’t you, buddy?”

“Let’s finish up our bicep-tricep super set burnout,” David said, avoiding the question.

After they finished they left, walking past the girl. David avoided looking at her. He could imagine one thousand ways the interaction could go wrong.

“Have a creatine mass-builder shake with me,” Michael said, “It will make you strong.” After pausing for a minute he went on, “There is only one thing, David: courage. Courage and grace under pressure. You must have that when you pump up and when you approach that girl. Another drink.”

They each filled up another glass of mass-builder. They were both bloated from all the chemicals as they separated and went to class.