benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: February, 2016

IMPOSSIBLE

When I sit down to play, the two little girls have already finished their desserts of chocolate mousse.

Now hyped up on sugar, they are twirling and dancing between tables, their mothers clearly more interested in the rich gossip they are sharing over champagne, than the safety of their children in a crowded dining room.

When the girls twirl over to the piano, they stop and stare.

I think that it suddenly dawns on them where their dance music is coming from.

Which makes me giggle inside, just a little.

So I ask, “Did you just see Cinderella?”

They nod in unison.

“What was your favorite part?”

All of a sudden, two very shy faces burst into a frenzied explanation of how Cinderella twirls and twirls, then the magic makes the dress fancy for the party.

“Do you remember what Cinderella was singing when that happens?”

The girls look confused, but as I fill the silence with a song that suggests that it’s possible for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage, they smile again, beginning to twirl and twirl away.

And I giggle out loud.

It’s possible sometimes for bitter old queens to find joy again with the right princesses.

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MOVING ON

Outgrowing a relationship is a difficult thing to admit.

But at this point in time, there is very little benefit for me to continue working out with the trainer I’ve had for the past two years.

He has introduced nothing stimulating; no new challenges or programming. He doesn’t even remember the new personal goals I set for myself every 4-6 weeks.

Furthermore, he shows up late, and then spends the majority of our time hitting on women.

Sometimes, it’s very clear when the time comes to move on.

So I wonder why when it comes to other kinds of baggage, I just keep holding on.

BLESSED ASSURANCE

Strep throat has kept me in bed for a week and even though I am still on antibiotics, I feel well enough to get back on my lifting program.

The goal for the next six weeks is simple: attempt to move as close to the same amount of weight as possible from the previous phase, but with a deficit of 500 calories, and without the recovery help of the supplement creatine.

It’s my first attempt at beginning the process of stripping away excess fat without loosing hard-earned muscle mass known as cutting.

So I step onto the floor of the gym, unsure.

As I carefully warm up and begin to add plates on the bar in the squat rack, a familiar face walks up.

“I haven’t seen you in a while, welcome back,” he smiles.

He’s one of the more experienced regulars. And he’s always friendly and encouraging.

So I spill what’s on my mind and together, we look though the rubrics of numbers and percentages, sets and reps; and exercise selections in my logbook.

He’s quiet for a few minutes, cocks his head, looks at me and says, “It seems like you know what you’re doing. You just need to trust yourself and get on with it.”

“You approve?” I ask

He nods, “I approve.”

And even though I have full confidence of the many forms of assurances in my life, the one from this week is a valentine in perfect timing.

It makes me feel just a little less lonely being single again this year.

RECEIVING

One of the first things I do when I get to work is to set my tip jar out and put a starter five-dollar bill in it.

Then I go get my coffee.

This week, I return to the piano with a steaming mug in hand, only to hear a group of women muttering that, “Five dollars seems a bit much for music.”

I nod as friendly of a hello as I can muster, sit down, and start to play.

There is an awkward tension in the air as they linger, waiting for the final guest in their party to arrive so that everyone can be seated at the table.

They know I’ve heard their comment, and now, it just feels like an obligation to do my job for free.

I don’t remember what I was playing that night.

But as I come to the end of my first medley of the evening, a man walks over and puts a crisp twenty-dollar bill over my five.

“You’re brilliant,” he says.

I thank him for listening and sit up a little straighter.

The women, of course, have witnessed this entire exchange.

But what really matters that I am humbled to always receive so much more than I ask for.