benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: March, 2016

EASTER

I wore my shirt, tie and socks with the polka dots on Good Friday for nails in hands and feet.

On Saturday, I wore all black, because it was dark in the tomb and the people were sad.

Today, I’m wearing my suit with the white pinstripes, a white shirt, a white bow tie and white suspenders to remember that I’m washed clean.

I haven’t been to church since Christmas and I didn’t give up anything for Lent this year either.

I don’t always do the nicest things or speak the sweetest words.

But I do try to show up in the right spirit every once in a while.

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THROWING MY WEIGHT AROUND

In a moment of inattentiveness, I grab a 50 lb dumbbell off the rack and carelessly drop it on the floor. It bounces back, hard, catches in between the thumb and index finger on my right hand, and pushes the thumb out of its socket.

There is a sudden numbing and foreign pain. I look down to see my thumb dislocated; eerily out of joint and misaligned with the rest of my fingers.

I react reflexively and push my thumb down where it snaps back into place.

I’ve had full mobility of this thumb since then. But it has been tender, achy and sore all week.

In between bouts of warm Epson salt soaks and icing, I’ve had plenty of time to consider all the other ways in which I throw my weight around.

Specifically, what is mine to hold in the palm of my hand, and what is best left in the palms of another’s.

I can do my best to control my attitude and my responses.

But maybe it’s time to stop using my reputation and good standing in this town to always get what I want.

CONTAGIOUS

The nasty cold that is going around this season has now hopefully died down, having already been officially passed through everyone I work with.

Completely founded, my own personal paranoia at the restaurant is at an all time extreme. Not only am I using hand sanitizer on the hour, I am sterilizing everything I touch with Clorox wipes. That includes the keys on the piano, the water glasses, and the door handles. Hugs and handshakes are being kept to the bare minimum; only regular customers and tips above twenty dollars.

I hate being sick and in my mind the idea of preventing involuntarily infection is not so much obsessive as it is proactive.

I was wiping my hands one more time when a couple celebrating their anniversary makes a request. They want to dance, and ask that I play their song.

I know it, and I am honored.

As they hold each other and move simply to the music, the same way they must have done 12 years ago when they first got married, two other couples join them on the floor.

I don’t mind being surrounded by some things.

I would catch love, joy and hope everyday if I could.

And also spread it all around.

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING

Some enchanted evenings, I find myself playing better, and across crowded rooms, strangers engage by listening and applauding.

Having struggled last month on two different rounds of antibiotics for separate illnesses occurring just weeks apart, I was grateful, and glad, to finally have one such night this Saturday.

So it really bothered me when a server, clearly out of spite, stood in front of the piano, looked me straight in the eye, and started clicking his wine key like a castanet for a good five minutes.

Not because the music moved him and he was caught in the beat of it, but rather to explore with morbid fascination how he could publically demonstrate that he didn’t have rhythm.

And because I had recently found Joy, I held on tight with both hands, never letting her go.

Once I had found her, I held on with both hands, never letting her go, in case one of those hands should rise up to smack a jackass right across his ignorant face.