“Look, you be a builder, you carry yo’self like a builder.”
Sweepea and Mousie exchanged a glance and abruptly rose from the table. After hastily paying for the drinks, I followed them out into the night. And there it was, out on Second Avenue between Fifty-second and Fifty-third, that Mousie and Sweepea taught me “the Walk,” that peculiar weight-lifters’ waddle.
I’m sure you know it. The huge man we spotted the previous hour had done it particularly well. It’s the not-so-secret signal among the iron cognoscenti of the presence of a dues-paying member of the bodybuilding guild.
I watched as first Sweepea, then Mousie strutted down the street. They swept their arms out to the side, as if the sheer massivity of their lat wings necessitated it. They burrowed their heads slightly into their shoulders to make their necks appear larger. They looked bowlegged, absurdly stiff, and infinitely menacing. At the corner light, they stopped and turned. “Go on, now,” Mousie said, encouraging me.
Mousie watched Sweepea’s swagger. “That’s right, homeboy, with dignity, dignity!” he yelled. At last, I understood. The Walk wasn’t an upturned drawbridge and moat; it was a twenty-one gun salute, a full military cavalcade. I ran back down the street and tried again, this time curling my lip into a sneer. Once more, I used The Arnold Mental Visualization Principle, but this time I was Paul Bunyan, crushing Wisconsin hamlets with every giant step.
Deep in my reverie, I barely heard their shouts. “That’s it, man, a positive mental attitude! You got it, now! You fine!”
Fussell, Samuel Wilson. Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder