Oscar's ears pricked up as the gymn phone rang. He went over, and answered it. "Braford's Gymn, Oscar speaking. How may I help you?"
"Hello, this is Josef Alreya. I had just signed up for your gymn."
"Yeah, I remember you! And we were gonna set up an exercise regimen."
Joseph laughed. "Yeah, we were."
"Hmmm," Oscar said. "Have you been to a gymn before?"
"I was a regular gymn-goer in my hometown, and since I've recently moved, I'm looking for a new one."
"Good. Now... for leg exercises, let's see..."
"Um, Oscar," Joseph interrupeted. "Maybe... maybe we should do this in person."
Oscar was puzzled, but agreed. "All right..."
Oscar was waiting in the gymn. Nearbye, Ron worked out on the bench press, while Angelo spotted him. He heard some cursing at the door, and went over to it to see what was going on. Joseph came towards him, and the sight caused Oscar to stop in his tracks. Joseph was a bear, brown-furred, in his mid-forties, with strong muscles on his torso and arms. But his legs were withered, bone thin.
Josef Alreya was in a wheelchair. Josef grinned. "As you can see, leg exercises are kind of useless to me."
Ron looked up, and blinked. "If you don't mind my asking... how'd that happen?"
Josef sighed. "It happened when I was 10..." he began, as many of the bodybuilders gathered round to listen.
Josef was hurriedly getting ready for school. "Josef" called his mother "Don't forget your lunch!"
Josef grabbed his lunch, and headed out, to where the bus would pick him up for school. He checked both sides of the road, and started to cross the street.
He never made it across. A car came flying down the road, breaking the speed limit twice over, if not more, and sent him flying. He lay in a broken heap, oblivious to his mother's screams, the crying of his playmates, the siren of the ambulance...
"He must have been doing about 100 miles an hour," Josef sighed. "There was no WAY I could have seen him. I landed in the hospital, nearly dead. Both arms and legs were broken, most of my ribs were broken, my muzzle was broken... worst of all, my back was broken. I was paralyzed from the waist down."
"Oh, shit," said Angelo. "Must have been rough."
"Oh, it was. It was hard as hell to get around. But I muddled through. The hardest part, though, was being pitied as a poor little cripple. That's why I got into lifting weights."
Ron grinned. "So people wouldn't pity you?"
Josef smirked. "That, and so I could beat up anyone who called me a weakling. Trust me, I have wrestled guys who have had use of both legs to the ground, and had them crying for mercy." His grin turned slightly evil. "'Even I wouldn't do something like what your doing' is something I hear a lot. Usually from furs who are so out of shape and lazy, I'm surprised they don't use wheelchairs to save themselves the effort of walking."
The others around him laughed.
"But, seriously, I really HATE being called a cripple. In fact, if anyone here feels an ounce of pity for me, bring out a table, and I'll armwrestle him, then we'll go outside, and I'll RACE him!"
Oscar stepped up with a grin. "Well, I don't pity you, in fact, I admire you. But I'll take you on." He grabbed a chair, and sat across the table from Josef, and the two locked hands.
Angelo called out. "Go!"
The two musclefurs strained against each other, as sweat rolled down their foreheads. Oscar was getting cheers from everyone, but Ace had decided to play Devil's Advocate, and was cheering Josef. Slowly, Josef began to lose ground to Oscar, although he did make a recovery. Finally, though, Oscar pressed Josef's paw to the table.
"Oscar wins!" called out Angelo. Oscar rose from his seat, and held out his hoof. "Good show!" he said.
Josef grinned, shaking his hoof, and then shook out his arm to get some of the ache out. "So... ready for the race?" he asked.
Oscar nodded. "How about a race around the block?" he asked.
Josef grinned. "Sounds good." They went outside, and got ready. Ace held a stop watch. "Okay, on your marks... get set... GO!" They both took off. Josef was amazingly fast in that wheelchair of his. His powerful paws and arms propelled it forward, soon outdistancing Oscar.
However, about half-way around, Oscar began catching up to Josef. When he finally caught up to the bear, and began to pass him, Josef put on a renewed burst of speed, and did a good job of catching up with him. But it wasn't enough. Oscar came in, nearly a full 2 seconds before the bear. The others were ready with water and towels, and Oscar congratulated Josef for his efforts. "You did great, man! That was one hell of a showing!"
Josef grinned. "Well, I'm glad to have given you a run for your money," he chuckled.
Oscar nodded. "You sure did. Now, lets head back in, and we can talk about your regimen."