benchmarksblog

WHAT I LEARN FROM LIFTING & PLAYING

PRIDE

Detroit Pride is this weekend.

 

But I won’t be attending the parade or any of the other special festivities planned.

 

I’m at the very peak of my bulking and at 210lbs, I’ve dealt with the most unkind remarks over the last few months:

 

“Did you stop going to the gym?”

 

“What’s going on with your belly, are you pregnant?”

 

“I see you’ve gained a few pounds.”

 

And these are some of the more innocuous comments.

 

I feel great and I know that I am on track with the training plan that was designed specifically for me.

 

So I wonder why mostly everyone else around me has a problem.

 

Just in case though, I’m going to stay home and keep my pride from getting any more wounded.

 

SECOND RATE REJUVENATION

At a pharmaceutical company cocktail party, invited guests are treated to top shelf liquor, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a vivid Power Point presentation of a brand new model of laser wand that can be inserted into dry vaginas to induce self-lubrication once again.

 

“The rejuvenated vagina will also be tightened significantly,” I overhear the product representative say before encouraging everyone to take a closer look at the wand she has set up “strictly for external demonstration purposes only.”

 

When a server suggests that I ask if the laser wand will help rejuvenate my used up man cunt, I reply that it would be more helpful if it can tighten his own gaping mouth hole, which is constantly flapping due to the immense bullshit he is prone to uttering, and slack from the large quantities of big black dicks he is always putting in there.

 

I don’t think anymore about rejuvenation anymore until a few nights later.

 

An elderly gentleman falls out of his chair and lies convulsing on the floor behind me just as I start Georgia on my Mind.

 

Diners can stare, servers and managers can mill around in concern, but I have to keep with decorum by looking forward, so I continue to play as the paramedics arrive, wondering all the while if the man is having a heart attack, a seizure, a stroke, a choking situation, or is just simply drunk.

 

It is assessed that the man can be cleared to walk out to the ambulance with assistance and I hear the first few shuffles of feet, followed by the raspy cough of the patient demanding, “to speak to him … I have to speak to him now! Now … please!”

 

Out of the corner of my eye, I see him directing his path of motion towards me, where I sit at the piano halfway between the dining room and the door.

 

A paramedic is supporting his frail body but he wrenches himself free and

grabs onto the edge of the instrument.

 

I see and smell a dinner jacket covered with vomit.

 

He leans into my ear.

 

He whispers, “You’re a second rate pianist.”

 

The paramedic pulls him back into finishing the rest of his slow, painful journey out of the restaurant and onto the emergency room, as I begin to gag.

 

The lingering smell of partially digested beef wellington and the sting of purely wounded indignation are making my lips tighten.

 

More tight and rejuvenated than any laser wand could ever accomplish.

 

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU

Jesus gave me the strength this week to set a personal record of squatting 315lbs for 4 repetitions.

He also gave me the strength to break up with a very, very, very bad boyfriend.

WAR MEMORIAL

I just played a bridal shower at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial.

The hostess said a brief hello when she arrived, but I was mostly ignored by a roomful of 40 women.

Until I played my last note, stood up, and put my jacket back on.

Then everyone clapped.

As I walked out, I was told multiple times how wonderful I sounded and what a good job I had done.

The war memorial is dedicated to the veterans of World War II.

But today, I’m going to remember that even when I think that no one hears me, someone is listening.

THE ANSWER

The wedding goes perfectly as planned.

 

I am relieved, but that’s not the exact moment I know that my prayers have been answered.

 

As she packs up her violin to leave, the 17 year old I rehearsed and performed together with for this event says to me, “Thank you so much for everything. I learnt so much from you and I hope we stay in touch.”

 

In a difficult situation, I asked to make no mistakes.

 

And instead, I received grace.

 

THE PRAYER

I never wanted to do this wedding.

 

Due to circumstances, the pianist I recommended for the gig, cancelled, and with no other options available to salvage a long-standing professional relationship with the client, I have no other choice but to fill in.

 

The wedding involves two singers and a violin player that the couple has chosen to include.

 

Which means I’ll be playing in many more key signatures than I ordinarily use.

 

Which makes me uncomfortable.

 

In 2 hours, I will be stepping into the Detroit Yacht Club, trusting that as always, I am supposed to be in the right place to sparkle bright, and that I am equipped to do so.

 

But first, I think I’ll practice this version of The Prayer in E-Flat with its direct modulation to A-Flat just one more time.

HURT

I have a recurring right shoulder injury that has needed more attention recently.

 

I’ve been conservative with most pressing movements and like always, smart rehabilitation fixes mostly everything.

 

My coach warns me that I will always have this lingering feeling in my tendon, a common sore spot with many lifters, but that I will eventually learn to work through it and around it.

 

Because I trust my body’s physical innate workings, maybe I can also trust my emotion’s intuitive sensitivities to eventually figure things out with this man I’m currently dating.

TRANSFIXED

We hosted a MTF transgender cocktail event this week.

 

And I was proud of the restaurant for taking such a visible and progressive stance on this social issue.

 

Until, the ladies arrived.

 

Behind their backs, the derisive comments from staff flowed.

 

The most ignorantly revealing to me was the suggestion that I put on a dress and join the party.

 

Sometimes, words do speak louder than actions.

EASTER CURLS

I’m on my last set of overhead cable curls when he walks over and says, “Hey. Can I show you something?”

 

I normally shy away from the bros who interfere with each other’s workouts but this one is especially cute so I say, “Sure.”

 

He raises the cable settings to their maximum height, much further than I normally set them for this exercise, and tells me to try again, now that most of the stabilizing pressure on my rotator cuffs will be alleviated by the new adjustment.

 

And he was right.

 

I thank him and wish him a Happy Easter, remembering that this holiday is about having all the mistakes of sin permanently fixed.

40

He’s not that much older himself, I don’t think, so I’m confused when he says, “What a surprise to come out of the dining room to see someone so young playing all these old songs!”

 

I’m turning 40 next week and I don’t feel so young.

 

But I don’t feel so old either.

 

I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.