"Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is," he said.
About 30 of us stood lined up, shoulder to shoulder, all in khaki pants and worn, dirty white shirts tucked in. We stared in silence, tired as it was already past11PM.
All of us were trying to join a certain organization, but had to go through a rigorous process to demonstrate our commitment to said organization. Every week, we were assembled and scrutinized for hours. Every time we made a mistake, we had to conduct a series of physical exercises.
"I said, did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is!?!" The second time was louder. In his perfectly sculpted attire, he looked crazy.
We stood silently, waiting for more exercises to be doled out as punishment.
"Get down. Push-up position NOW!!!" he shouted.
We clumsily shuffled into push-up position, hugging the ground.
"Begin!" he yelled.
We began doing push-ups. "Sir, one sir! Sir, two sir! Sir, three sir..."
"Insanity is doing the exact same FUCKING thing over, and over again, and expecting shit to change." His voice leveled out. "That is crazy, isn't it?"
"Sir, fifteen sir! Sir, sixteen sir..."
"The first time I learned what the actual definition is, I almost shat myself." He had a grin. "Come on, seriously?"
"Sir, twenty two sir! Sir, twenty three sir..."
We were getting tired and the fat guys began really struggling, their facial expressions reminding us that they were in a worse hell than us. By this point, we usually were told to stop, try again, or do something else as if we were too physically exhausted, we were then truly useless.
He kept going.
"But then, I look around, and I see that he's right. Like all of you fucking pieces of shit come every week without knowing your shit. So, you guys then have to do a bunch of exercises."
The original push-up cadence had all but disappeared. We were struggling, and most of us could not even do a proper push-up anymore. Being in a hot room full of smoke didn't help.
"And you guys can't even do a FUCKING push-up correctly!!!" he yelled at one of the overweight guys clearly struggling.
"Every week, I say to myself 'This week is going to be different.' 'Maybe they'll show some progress and proof that they want to commit to this program.'" He was calm now, but had this crazy posture that indicated he had left the reservation a long time ago.
I don't know how many reps we had done, but it didn't matter.
"BUT YOU BLOW IT EVERY WEEK!"
By now, we are usually up and trying again, but clearly, he was going on.
"Stop! Assume forward leaning rest!"
Although we didn't have to do any push-ups (for now), forward leaning rest wasn't so much a "rest" as our arms were torched after what we had just put them through--it was basically a standing push-up position. To put it simply, it also sucked.
"Relax, relax. Everything is alright. Let's chill."
We weren't sure if he was talking to us, or himself. But we were all looking up, seeing what our fate for the next 15 min would be.
He looked up at us with a bad look.
"Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?"