Only this time, he met a new exercise partner during an unforgettable workout that was anything but routine.
When Lovullo arrived to lift weights, there was President Barack Obama pumping iron in a long-sleeve T-shirt and sweats. Lovullo introduced himself and talked baseball with Obama, who was in New York this week for his annual trip to the United Nations.
“It couldn’t have been more at ease. It couldn’t have been more normal than two guys just talking shop,” Lovullo said. “It was as exciting as you could probably imagine.”
Lovullo said they had “a great conversation” and he asked Obama when he would be leaving town, because all the security in place was making it awfully inconvenient to come and go or even grab a cup of coffee.
“He said he was leaving at 10 o’clock. I said, ‘Good,'” Lovullo recounted. “It hasn’t been easy getting in there. I like to get a cup of Starbucks in the morning and I had to go four blocks the other way. I said that to him. He apologized. He said, ‘I’m doing the best I can. That’s what happens with my job.'”
Lovullo said Obama was lifting free weights and had all the accessories that go with a serious workout — towel, protein drink, weight belt.
“He’s got a great routine. He’s in great shape. He was following a piece of paper that somebody wrote up for him,” Lovullo said. “He was doing a circuit. He wasn’t in one place at one time. He actually sat down and asked if he could share the weights with me and use the same weights that I was doing. I know how heavy they were for me and he didn’t make them look so heavy. He made it look very easy, so he’s a strong man.”
After their chat, Lovullo posed for a photo with the president that was taken by new Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen.
“It was quick. It was in and out, so my bodyguards did exactly what they needed to do,” Lovullo joked.
To be honest, Lovullo’s fortuitous encounter wasn’t completely unplanned. Red Sox radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione had mentioned he saw Obama working out at the hotel gym in midtown Manhattan on Monday morning, so a half-serious Lovullo said he moved up his workout to about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday on the off chance he might run into the president.
“It worked, yeah. I had a motive. I made it happen. You don’t want to miss those opportunities,” Lovullo said. “It was almost unbelievable. I walked into the same place that he was and we were both civilians. He wore the same workout clothes that I did. He’s just got 15 security guards — that was the difference.”
Lovullo began filling in last month when Red Sox manager John Farrell took a medical leave to deal with Stage 1 Lymphoma.