benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

Month: December, 2017

TINKERBELL

At this time of year, there are many new faces in the gym during my regular training hours.

 

Some people are getting a head start on their New Year’s resolutions.

 

And some other people are there because they are on vacation from work or simply home for the holidays.

 

Today, as I am changing out in the locker room to leave, two college boys are arriving.

 

It’s just the three of us in there and the boys aren’t particularly muscular or good looking, so I’m paying them absolutely no attention.

 

While trying to get my snow boots on without having to untie and retie the laces, I hear one of them mention something “hysterial, yo, that (his) uncle said at Christmas dinner.”

 

He elaborates, “What with all this having to be politically correct and everything, my uncle’s new code for gay is ‘Tinkerbell’, you know, because gay guys stand like that fairy with their limp wrists.”

 

I am laughing internally while keeping a straight face because I do think it’s hysterical.

 

Not because homophobia is funny, but because these guys think that Tinkerbell is actually the gayest character in Peter Pan.

 

One of the trainers walks in,

 

“Looking good big guy,” he says to me.

 

“Must be all that Tinkerbell fairy dust I use while trying to lift with my limp wrist,” I reply as I walk out to my car.

 

I’ll explain what I meant to the trainer tomorrow.

 

But for now, I just wanted to see the look on their faces when two clueless lost boys realized they had accidentally wandered into my Neverland.

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IN A PINCH

I wake up one morning to a text message from a co-worker, of a screen shot from Yelp, the restaurant review site, and a ‘laughing until I’m crying’ emoji face.

 

A guest comment reads, “otherwise a great place to dine … watch out for the Asian piano player, he likes to pinch butts.”

 

At first, I giggle.

 

Because not only is it untrue, it seems like a pretty ridiculous and immature statement.

 

And then, reason suddenly kicks in.

 

I begin to feel anxiety over the possible real world consequences of someone throwing out such an allegation of sexual harassment against me.

 

“Have I been Weinsteined?” I text to about 30 people, along with the incriminating screen shot, “and should I be lawyering up right now?”

 

After extensive teasing, the general consensus is that an anonymous post on a less than reputable website bears no weight. Those who have Yelp accounts go the extra mile to report the post as being malicious and slander, so it can hopefully be taken down. Furthermore, I am reminded, my boss who reads Yelp reviews religiously hasn’t even mentioned it, and I’ve already been working two weeks since the post.

 

So I am advised to not loose any sleep over it.

 

To trust the sweet baby Jesus who has always fixed, provided and protected.

 

To not talk about it anymore and make matters worse.

 

To just laugh it off and not give it any more power.

 

But those things are easier said than done when upset.

 

So I go to the gym and work out my aggression with leg presses, hack squats, leg extensions and lunges.

 

This will have to do for now, in a pinch.

LIFE AND DEATH

A regular customer reserves the largest room in the house and treats his entire staff to a holiday dinner.

 

Just before dessert, he waves for me to come in, and then introduces me to the group.

 

They clap and he instructs them to pick the last three Christmas songs for the evening.

 

He slips me a hundred dollar bill, pats me on the back and says, “I don’t know if you know what my business is, but I run three funeral homes. I see regret everyday. So it’s important for me to thank you for a great year of memories. Have a blessed Christmas.”

 

In a season where many of my co-workers are increasingly bitter and unhappy because of internal politics, it gets harder and harder to play songs about goodwill, peace and joy.

 

This tip revives me and gives me new life, not for its generous monetary value, but for reminding me that a very special life was given to death, in order for me to have hope.

 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

A ghost of Christmas past came to visit me at work.

 

I didn’t see the apparition, but a regular guest informed me that the spirit was hovering over the piano as I played.

 

The spirit, the guest further elaborated, was definitely female, and enjoyed listening to all the Christmas music, because every time I played a holiday song, the spirit would gently sway back and forth in time to the music.

 

I didn’t think the guest was drunk.

 

I have been told numerous times by guests with the gift of the third eye that spirits have been seen to gather around the piano and dance when I’m playing.

 

The spirits don’t try to enter my body or touch me, (which is always my first paranoid question,) so I’ve learned to just laugh it off.

 

“I guess my approval rating goes beyond the grave,” I’ll quip.

 

But really, I’d like to think that on occasion, one of the spirits this season could be that of my late husband, who proposed to me many Christmases ago, and comes back to say hello.

BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR

During this year’s holiday toy drive at the restaurant, the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? was left one night on the shelves where we display all the donations.

 

I was immediately piqued.

 

Being a lifelong fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar myself, I have always loved the joyful expressionistic illustrations of Eric Carle. But I was not familiar with Brown Bear.

 

So I read it on my next set break.

 

And over the course of the week, managed to convince several co-workers to become their favorite colored animals, either from the book or imagined.

 

“White Dog, White Dog, what do you see?” I asked.

 

“I see a douche bag who thinks he’s hot shit because he’s a doctor,” he replied

 

“Purple Cat, Purple Cat, what do you see?” I asked

 

“I see Red Bird chirp, chirp, chirping away, pretending like he actually knows what the F he’s doing,” she replied.

 

“Blue Horse, Blue Horse, what do you see?” Orange Lion asked me.

 

“I see some ashy ass folks that need to moisturize,” I replied

 

It was a fun game. And we all laughed.

 

Until I asked, “Lavender Gazelle, Lavender Gazelle, what do you see?”

 

Lavender Gazelle replied, “I see a handsome Blue Horse who could be using his talent to make positive choices but instead is wasting his creativity, time and energy on insulting everything in the forest.”