benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: June, 2015

STRETCH

I am told that the amount of stretching to do each week should be equivalent, or greater, than the average time spent daily on lifting.

 

Somehow, I’ve forgotten to do this.

 

So I lie down on the mat in my first Pilates class on Thursday since Christmas feeling like something bad is about to go down.

 

And it does.

 

70 year old grandmothers are kicking my ass with perfect flutter kicks and all I can do is let the instructor pull on my toes until my hip pops back into place.

 

“One more time,” he says, “Reach for it.”

 

Hands over head and feet extended, I breathe and stretch, breathe and stretch, again and again, lengthening each vertebrae in my spine, cursing the lack of flexibility, both in myself and in the desire to strive for something greater.

 

I exhale.

 

And silently promise to keep on stretching.

 

MAKES PERFECT

Five of my neighbors at the lofts are moving out this week and putting their units up for sale.

 

As I watch the boxes and furniture get loaded into U-Hauls, I wonder if my life will also be moving in a different direction anytime soon.

 

When the last mattress is strapped into place, one of the guys turns around and says, “Out of everything about living downtown, I’m going to miss hearing you play the piano the most.”

 

I laugh because the stuff I work on at home is practice and mostly full of mistakes.

 

Then I realize.

 

I can’t be moving on to the future if I haven’t made right what I have to fix in the present.

 

COMPETITION

It was tentatively suggested this week that I might be ready to think about possibly entering my first physique competition.

 

And my immediate response was a firm, “absolutely not.”

 

Looking at the photographs of winning champions in the regional events from the past few years, I feel like I don’t measure up in size or definition.

 

But while those are benchmarks to which I admire and aspire, they are not the reasons I am committed to lifting.

 

I know that there will always be someone bigger and better.

 

To keep comparing myself to another person in this manner is to always be unhappy.

 

My goal is to compete with myself and know with satisfaction that I am the best I can be.

 

It’s a lot easier to do physically than spiritually.

PRIDE

It comes before a fall.

 

It collectively describes a grouping of lions.

 

And during the month of June, it is the LGBT community’s rallying cry in cities word-wide to presence their identities and rights in the social and cultural landscape.

 

This weekend, Detroit celebrates Pride.

 

I can be proud of many things.

 

But lately, it’s the smaller things that have become significant.

 

Like choosing to lift at a slightly lighter load.

 

Even though I know I can lift more, I don’t want to compromise the possibility that I may not be able to enjoy training tomorrow if I exhaust myself today.

 

Like choosing to play a fewer gigs and sets.

 

Even though I know I can play more, I don’t want to compromise the possibility that I may not be able to enjoy playing tomorrow if I exhaust myself today.

 

So I am proud of these lesser things.

 

It’s because in the long run, they are contributing to pride in something much greater.