Mark had spent months planning for tonight! He’d started by talking to old friends and making new ones about whether it was even possible. When they all encouraged him to go ahead with it, he doubled his time at the gym meticulously watched what he ate, and virtually gave up drinking.
Even before his recent efforts, Mark had been fit. He was no stranger to the gym and ate and drank with moderation. In high school, he had played football and baseball. In college, he had participated in intramurals with his fraternity brothers. Since then, however, he had been more sedentary and gained a little beer belly.
That is, until he joined CrossFit and endured punishing workouts each day.
The beer belly was only a memory now. Months of hard training each day had melted the fat, leaving hard ridges of muscle.
The past several weeks had been busy as Mark prepared for the contest. He had bought new clothes, wrote and memorized his speech, and learned all he could about the history and traditions of the leather community.
Tonight was the Mr. Bolt contest– a chance to stand as a leader in the leather community and compete for International Mr. Leather in Chicago. The winner would travel all year while raising money for charities and educating people about the leather community.
Now, it looked as if all Mark’s hard work would be wasted.
Mark took a long bike ride along the American River Parkway to clear his mind this morning. On his way back he lost his focus when an attractive stranger caught his attention. Now he was laying on the concrete in intense pain.
The pain wasn’t purely physical. Mark feared that there would be no way he could compete tonight on stage. Moreover, there was little chance he would find the man who could quite literally sweep him off his feet.