benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: September, 2017

NEW BEGINNINGS

I started working with my new coach this week.

 

She is kind, thoughtful and experienced.

 

As I try to connect with her, and open my heart to her way of programming, she encourages me by complementing my lifting form.

 

So while I am excited to move on and grow with her, I am also painfully conscious of the fact that someone else has given me a great foundation to build on.

 

Even though he is no longer physically present in my life, I have to acknowledge that he will always be an important part of it.

 

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HEART & SOUL

I love playing piano duets, so when a guest at the restaurant says she wants to play one with me, I ask, “What song?”

 

As she begins to assure me that I’ll definitely know it, I get wary.

 

“This better not be Heart & Soul,” I warn her.

 

She promises that it absolutely isn’t.

 

But she slides herself onto the bench with me and bangs out the worn out chord progression of the very thing she swore she would not play.

 

I improvise a completely different melody line and remind her of what she had just promised.

 

“I lied,” was the bold faced reply I receive.

 

A few days later, I also decide that lying is the best way to get what I want.

 

In order for me to move on, I tell myself that I’m not heart broken, and that my soul isn’t devastated, because I’m loosing a coach, and a friend, to his commitment to the long process of rehabilitation.

BIG GUY

One of bodybuilding’s most celebrated competitions, the Mr Olympia, is being held this weekend in Vegas.

 

Almost every lifter I know is sitting in the gym this week, wishing for more size, more gains, more everything.

 

Myself included.

 

I am still absent-mindedly thinking about this after working out one day as I walk to grab lunch, when I hear a stranger call out to me in admiration, “Hey, how much do you bench big guy?”

 

Of all the muscle groups I have been training, I feel that my chest remains the most underdeveloped.

 

Due to a left shoulder strain, I rarely barbell bench press more than once or twice a month, and when I do, at no more than 135lbs for reps.

 

I have been diligently relying on alternative movements to work this body part, and because my prescriptive plan doesn’t look like anyone else’s, I sometimes feel insecure that my chest isn’t growing.

 

This isn’t one of those weeks though.

MARINE WEEK

There are a lot of handsome men coming in for dinner this week with their families.

Hosted by the United States Marine Corps in one city per year, Marine Week is a celebration of Community, Country and Corps – providing the American public the experience of directly connecting with hundreds of Marines.

In Detroit, hands-on static displays, live demonstrations, time-honored Marine Corps traditions, musical performances and other events are being featured to showcase the history, military capabilities and community involvement of the Corps.

But my absolute favorite thing to do this week is to play the Marine’s Hymn (The Halls of Montezuma) on the piano and watch a guy in uniform bust out into a winsome smile.

IMPROVISATION

The Detroit Jazz Festival is being held this weekend.

 

And while I would never consider myself a jazz pianist, I find myself thinking about how I am changing because I engage daily with this specific discipline of making music.

 

Whatever real life situation is confounding me these days; I relax, close my eyes and do the same thing when I loose my place in the music while playing with a jazz trio.

 

That is, I listen and let myself be guided to finding the right path again.