benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: August, 2014

REST PERIOD

I have been advised that I would be well served by listening to Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans.

I’m supposed to be listening for the space between notes … what is played and what is left unplayed.

As opposed to my natural inclination to  fidget and fill every bar with activity and movement.

I’ve been told that I have trouble leaving the rests alone.

Even though I know full well that one the greatest axioms is: Just do your best, and God will do the rest.

So I’m going to be deliberate in giving myself a little more room to breathe.

And more conscious to appreciate both the full and the empty.

 

 

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BURN

Bodybuilders and physique competitors will tan before shows because the harsh stage lights tend to wash out hard earned muscle definition.

 

A darker body also appears to be larger and have more presence on stage.

 

Out of sheer vanity, I climbed myself into a tanning bed 6 weeks ago.

 

I’m still peeling.

 

I got burned so bad trying to look bigger than I actually am.

 

Nothing hides in the dark forever and eventually, when it does come to light, it often hurts like hell.

 

So this week, after I’m hopefully done shedding off all my old dead skin, I’m going to remember to live honestly and comfortably in my new skin from now on.

SPARKLE!

Several members at the gym have affectionately taken to calling me Sparkles. Apparently, as one guy explains, it’s because I don’t sweat, I sparkle.

 

I like it.

 

I love all things bright and shiny.

 

But to sparkle when things get rough and tough? I didn’t know I was doing that until recently. I didn’t know my own strength.

 

It dawned on me that the people that I work out with aren’t impressed by how much I can lift or how many times I can do it. They don’t care what I can press, squat or curl.

 

They’re admiring my determination.

 

In this closed circuit environment, I’m always the enthusiastic first to attempt the extra mile of every exercise. I’ll push out that one more rep. Until I can’t do it anymore. That’s how I know I’m done. To continue progressing, I know I’m supposed to be working to failure.

 

Success in life is a lot like that. I believe God’s grace and power is made perfect in my weakness. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses … for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

So that means no more sweating in the face of difficulty. No more sweating the small stuff. No more sweating the big stuff either.

 

These days I don’t shit my pants. I just poop glitter and sequins.

MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS

On Mondays, which is the international chest day at gyms everywhere, I stare at the plenty of pretty perky perfect pecs pushing weights all around me.

 

Then, like a prepubescent girl, I turn to my trainer and ask when my own titties are going to come in.

 

The answer is always if you shut the fuck up and lift this weight, and please stop calling them titties, they will grow. I promise.

 

This week I stopped asking.

 

No, my titties aren’t double D here yet.

 

But I realized that it’s my business to make the time, put in the work and do the best I can. To eat right, lift responsibly and be rested.

 

How and when my titties grow, as well as what they grow into – that’s God’s business.

INVISIBLE INVINCIBLE

In the last stanza of this evening’s mandatory Send in the Clowns, I get a frantic tapping on the shoulder by a frazzled new server who half whisper-shouts:

 

“My table is asking me things about you that I have no idea how to answer like where you’re from and where you went to school and how long you’ve been working here and what is that song you’re playing and who wrote it and so will you PLEASE go talk to them?”

 

I dutifully finish up and walk over to three pretty women, fascinating.

 

(Incidentally, they are also at the end of their meal so they are also, sipping coffee.)

 

Making my entrance again with my usual flair, I’m so very sure of my lines:

 

“Hi, I’m sorry to interrupt. I hope everything has been lovely. I understand that you have a few questions for me.”

 

I am met by silence and very blank stares.

 

Something in them chills the air.

 

Finally, one of them says, “Who are you?”

 

Don’t you love farce?

 

I greeted each of these ladies warmly as they were being seated, was in their clear view as I played for the entire dining room and finally made a resonating musical connection with them. And yet while I remained on the ground, they were obviously in mid-air.

 

Isn’t it queer?

 

That I too have very often failed to credit and recognize the one powerful giver of the many blessings I enjoy each day. The distractions of tearing around and thinking everyone wants what I want does make me loose my timing. I need to stop being that clown.