Month: December, 2016


My last workout for 2016 is for shoulders and arms.


I finish my last set, rack the weights and look at myself in the mirror.


I’m not unhappy with what I see.


But like most guys who workout, could always be happier with more gains.


Before I start with unhealthy obsessing, I have to remind myself what I’m really training my shoulders and arms to do.


In this New Year, may I be able to shoulder my own loads, as well as the shoulder that others can rely on.


And may my arms give not only hugs but also, a helping hand.



In the middle of a rendition of Silent Night, my own mouth remains silent no more.


I tell all the servers and busboys around me to hush up with the noise levels of their busy work because all is supposed to be calm.


And the baby Jesus is sleeping.


“Oh yeah? And how much did this baby Jesus weigh when he was born?” a smartass brightly asks.


With all the Christmas goodwill towards mankind I can muster, I tell him, “The weight of the world. Because he came to save us from sin.”



I took a side gig this week at a holiday luncheon that involved playing a solo set before the headlining local celebrity jazz flautist performed his show.


The flautist himself was the main contact person for payment.


So as a fellow professional, the nice, considerate and polite thing to do would have been to settle up before the start of the event.


Instead, I had to wait for two hours until the flautist was finished with his concert to get paid; a total diva move on his part.


As he handed me the cash, he remarked, “I noticed that your trio this season is you with a bass and drums. I’m glad you replaced the saxophone with drums, it makes it all about you now as the lead instrument.”


After I wished him a Merry Christmas and thanked him for inviting me to play, I simply responded, “It’s not always about being the center of attention.”


Normally, during this time of year, I dedicate the first set of the evening to the Christmas Story. In 45 minutes, I play my favorite Church carols in the order I envision them to be sung in a Nativity pageant.


This year, I’m scattering wise men, Mary, Bethlehem, stars, shepherds, mangers angels and the baby Jesus completely out of order in every set I play, mixed in with the standard repertoire I play year round.


It reminds me that the spirit of joy, peace and goodwill isn’t just for the holidays.


It’s for everyday.



When I admitted to my coach that the crick in my neck was from turning to look at the guy next to me while doing bent over rows in the squat rack, he laughed and said that I probably wouldn’t be making that same mistake again.


Whether the weights are heavy or light, I will remember to focus on the work at hand.


So this week when some boy came and started talking to me in the middle of a set, I didn’t turn. I said, “hang on.” I finished my set. And then I said hello.


It’s easy to keep my eyes on my own work at the gym.


I’m going to have to try a little harder at doing the same elsewhere.