benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: May, 2016

STRENGTH & WEAKNESS

My coach informs me that the time is coming soon when he won’t be able to tell me how many reps I need to target per set.

 

He warns me that whatever I can manage in good form, will be what I need accept for each attempt of whatever prescribed lift is being executed.

 

And that I shouldn’t freak out, worry, or compare the work for the day to other previous sessions, in which much more was accomplished.

 

This is because I will be at my weakest point in the coming weeks leading up to the competition.

 

In the name of stripping away as much fat as possible, but maintaining as much muscle mass at the same time, my caloric intake is steadily decreasing as the intensity of each workout increases.

 

To look strong on stage, I have to accept being weak.

 

To be strong in life, I have to accept the same thing.

BOLO

Blowing mindlessly, and repeatedly on a very shrill whistle, for no good reason at all, is annoying.

Doing this in a gym locker room is even more bizarre.

I try to change as quickly as I can when the noise suddenly stops and a different kind of nuisance emits from his pie hole.

“Bolo ! Yo Bolo !”

I turn around. I sigh. I hate the reference.

I am being called Bruce Lee’s sidekick from the 1973 film Enter the Dragon by a complete stranger.

With less of a kung fu fight and more of a RuPaul read, I ask him if I’m the reason he stopped blowing on his little rape whistle.

His rage is immediate: “That’s an insult! I don’t need a rape whistle, I know how to snap a man’s neck with my bare hands! I’ve been trained!”

I say nothing, and calmly walk out.

I’ve certainly grown. But not just in size.

For the first time ever, I am not afraid to tell a racist bully to fuck off.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

One night, as I was playing, a man, not embolden by drink, but by his own sheer ignorance, walked up behind me, to the bass register of the keyboard, and randomly hit several inaptly discordant notes.

 

I stopped playing out of shock.

 

“I just wanted to see what that would sound like,” he didn’t quite apologize.

 

I’m glad that I was moved to respond curtly and succinctly:

“It makes it sound like I’m a terrible pianist. That was an incredibly inappropriate thing you just did. Please never do that again.”

 

If I could only concern myself to make every word spoken to be just as pleasant and joyful as when I’m playing, my heart could be blessed with the sound of music, and perhaps, I’ll sing once more.

[ THE SOUND OF MUSIC | FISHER THEATRE | DETROIT | MAY 10-22 ]

FLAW LESS

It’s been a month with my coach, so this week we did another full body composition analysis to put some numbers to progress.

 

While the results certainly weren’t negative, they also didn’t reflect all the changes we were both expecting.

 

So we took another look at my nutrition plan and started to re-evaluate its percentages of fat, carbohydrate and protein.

 

And immediately, I saw the flaw I had been making.

 

I had been measuring my 6oz servings of sweet potatoes by volume, in cups, rather than by weight. Mathematically, I was eating half the amount of that particular food than I was supposed to.

 

Seeing the look of dismay on my face, my coach starts laughing.

 

He reassures me, “If a program can be undone in 4 weeks by sweet potatoes, it wasn’t a very good program to begin with.”

 

I accept that I am flawed.

 

I will continue the attempt to flaw, less.

 

But it’s always nice to know that in spite of all those flaws, I am still headed in the right direction, because I am programmed with faith and trust.

A LEG UP

This week I attempted a new leg workout on my own.

 

Even though I had done this once before together with my coach, being by myself made it a little more intimidating.

 

Focusing on all the new things I’ve been learning helped me stay calm, and more importantly, successfully complete the program.

 

Which made me wonder how much of a leg up I would have if I re-focused on all the old things that I already know.

 

Like how being generous of spirit and practicing gratitude can, in any negative situation, mindfully bring the positive back.