It was just after we did the Zottmans that CC said "You're done," which means the workout is over, because I have nothing left to give. Sometimes I ask him in reply "Done?", as if surprised, and he says "Done-done" and puts the fist out for the fist-tap. Not today: I was actually happy he said Done. I was barely curling the dumbells, and flipping them over had become difficult without dropping them: my forearms were kicked. Zottmans are good for forearms, but they are exhausting.
The whole workout was exhausting. I arrived exhausted. I was pushing myself, but CC's coach-vision saw that I was mentally kicked. One of the impacts of pushing through pain is that I can always do about 30% more than I could if I stopped when it began to hurt, or I felt tired. Another of the impacts of this is that sometimes I push, even if I'm grinding my head and body down in ways that aren't healthy. CC said "You need a break." As always, I reflexively denied it. No, I'm fine. He looks at me with one eyebrow slowly raised, a tired expression on his face (he never fires back). The look is saying be coachable. I open myself up, and take a quick trip of insight. Wow, I am completely exhausted, mentally and physically. I was having difficulty concentrating on anything, my mood was crap, and I had zero sex drive. I am not playing, I'm going through the motions. Then I check back with CC. OMG you're totally right. Okay, I need a break. See you Monday.
After sleeping about twelve consecutive hours, I woke up Saturday feeling rested, focused, horny, and content. I'm probably going to take another nap this afternoon just because I can.
Monday we start the heavy lifting again, and I go into a heavier eating phase. Time to play again.
When we go dancing underneath the city in the catacombs
When we go dancing the strobe lights and the disco will bring us home.
I know Old Orchard Beach is where you belong
You can go back, but, baby, that won't make you young
The wind will blow or it won't
The stars come out or they don't
The world goes round or we get thrown into the stars.
I laughed. The way he said it: crazy-eyed and dumb-voiced, like a gorilla, made the transposition of the M and the N hilarious. I imitated him. We laughed again.
I'm clear why I'm working out so much. I was tired of being small, and chose to gain weight, and took actions that supported that choice. And, it's fun. There are other associations, too, some which may not be as glamorous as a growing musclehead having to replace his wardrobe of S/Youth L tshirts with Mediums across the board. I'm aware of most of those not glamorous associations, too. When they come up, I notice them, and let myself be free of them. It's a trick I learned practicing meditation.
In the second he said it, CC's letter flip created a circuit. The circuit was travelled quickly: the rubber flooring became sunny concrete. I was a gangly first grader, watching with jealousy (it may have been shock) as the really cool second graders were carrying another small first grader on their shoulders. The kid they picked up was an average student, while I was one of the best students. We were waiting for the bus to arrive. The second graders had grown so much more than us little first graders. Their shoulders were broad, and they were strong. I wanted to be in on the fun, laughing while holding on. They didn't pick me up, because the bus opened its door. I took it to mean that the cool kids couldn't have fun with smart kids.
Drunk as a freshman at college, I stumbled all over a grassy dormitory campus, in the midst of a drunken party that spread everywhere, looking for my friends. The plan, when we split up, was that they were going to meet some sexy women later. I was dimly aware that I wanted nothing better than to see my sexy friends hang out with sexy women. I was too drunk to know whether they lost me in the crowd (this was the day before cel phones and SMS messages, yo), or they had decided to have this experience without me. A feeling of resentment welled inside of me. How would I ever get busy with women if people kept treating me as if I wasn't cool enough for them? I was kind of messed up in college.
A few weeks later, I fell madly in love with Nate and Mark, both rugby players in my Acting I class. One night, drunk at The Gargoyle...oh wait, I totally wrote about this already: "I got picked up by Mark/Nate, spun around, etc, and we wrestled. We were all drunk. When we were finished, Mark whispered in my ear 'we wouldn't fuck with you if we didn't like you'". That was the first moment in my life I can remember the cool kids telling the skinny smart kid he was cool enough to play with. Yo, I said I was messed up in college.
CC's little transposition triggered the associations. I noticed them, in an eye blink. I also noticed that I wasn't ruled by the associations, they don't mean anything, and they don't determine actions. They had no pull, because they aren't even really me. But I did notice the echo of flattery, the compliment of being called a dumb animal, someone who was intelligent yet who could push heavy weights over and over like a good dork jock, just before I did another set of incline bench presses.
Chest day. After my second set of flat bench presses, CC said offhandedly that he wasn't moving away. I joked with him and told him not to play with me. He said that he isn't moving. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
From Thursday to Monday I had become fully complete with the idea of not having CC as my trainer any longer, and even plotting what games I could play after I was without him.
It was a useful exercise. And I'm glad he's not leaving.
The comments I get fall into these categories:
1. Complaining. 50% of my comments never see the light of day because they are what I call non-committed complaints. (A non-committed complaint is one where the author is unwilling to take measurable action as a result of their complaint, such as quit reading my blog, write their own blog, or some other creative solution to their problem.) I have no examples to show you, because I always delete complaining: it does not move a conversation forward. Most of them are from read-onlys, people without blogs. I am sure this post will receive at least a half-dozen complaints. I will be sure to give you an update on how many complaints I will receive.
There are two major subcategories of complaints:
1a. Complaining about how I write: 60%. As J'Po (pictured) said last week, I don't owe you anything. I have my own theories on magic and life and content and they are not yours. In fact, it baffles me that in this age of extremely easy to access publishing software people still see writing a lazy, nasty note as the quickest way to get what they want, instead of simply going somewhere and creating what they ask for themselves. My favorite complaint of this sort are the ones that are draped in the language of social or literary criticism, and/or the author refers to themselves in the third person; they sound intelligent yet if I distill what they write, it still ends up as "you shouldn't do that". Gives me the whatevs.
1b. Complaining that I did not post a comment: 40% Just because it's possible to submit a comment does not mean this is an open forum, like some state-sponsored documentary that must include all scribblings, no matter how far they deviate from my editorial ideas. Besides, I like editing, it allows great stuff to come through, and prunes out the noise.
2. Weird. 40% There are some commentors who write things that, er, I have no idea what they mean. As in are they referring to something I wrote? I have posted a few weird comments because their strangeness simply must be shared. They are easy to spot, they are the comments with long runons and awful puns (the long runons and awful puns in my posts are by me). They also do not further a conversation.
3. Comments that move the conversation forward. 10% The majority of the comments you see here are comments that move the conversation forward. Or are comments that flatter me. Or are comments that make sense and are funny and lively. Or I like them. Or they are friends. Whatever their means and motive, these comments add to the littleminx world. Because I said so.
Yesterday was StFVD.
It was sleeting. Horizontal sleet, and the wind blowing in all directions. I love how Manhattan's canyons create this peculiar ecosystem for wind.
In the morning I went to my massage. The spa recently moved so that it is next door to my office. All too easy. I had a wonderful sports massage that dug deep. Muscles I didn't know I had had their tension released.
Thus relaxed, I then went to interview for a project. Shane, who is an acupuncturist, who you may remember from some years back, wants to move his office. I consulted on the qualities of the new space under consideration. We then proceeded to an Indian buffet lunch, where he picked up the tab. At the end of dinner, I reminded him how I thought acupuncture was akin to witchdoctory. He asked me if I'd tried it. I had not. So he offered a free sample, which I accepted. On the elevator up to his office, he touched my butt and chest. I've grown quite a bit since I saw him last, two years ago. Shane is a flirt. I used to resist his flirtations, but now I find them touching. I respect how open he is with his affections.
Just before he put the first needle in, I told Shane I was nervous. "I know". After the first needles went in, I had relaxed, and Shane asked if I was still nervous. I said no. "Can I play with your dick then?" Old habits die hard. I wanted to laugh, but was afraid of disturbing the needles in my tummy. I would find out later that was an unfounded concern. I laughed on the inside.
An acupuncture needle penetrating my skin was like an observed bugbite, or the surprise hand on my shoulder CC gave me during Session 64 (instead of his usual "ok", the signal to start lifting), or the moment LML told me to sleep because he would watch over me and the campfire, or the first time Aaron took my hand at Starlight, or the woman who reached and felt my biceps and chest at my friend's birthday party a couple of weeks ago. It is a surprise, a clearing of the other overlapping experiences so this one is alone, clear, singular. It is a surprise of the body, not the mind. As a result, the mind follows.
Is this what I've become? After a childhood and most of my adult life sharpening my mind to overcome bodily sensations, have I made myself susceptible to singular bodily sensations, neglected training in the discipline of resisting bodily pleasures by denying their primacy, so that those sensations are able, with a single wave, wash away all the mind? The mind as sand castle, beautiful but friable, and physical sensations as the ocean, deep, menacing, unforgiving, and ultimately the cause of all weather?
Shane left me alone with about twenty four needles in me, about eight of them in my left ear, some on my scalp, and the rest scattered about my body. After one minute, my mind cleared, the way it has not cleared since the last day of my meditation class a year ago. Thinking stopped, and I could just be. Be someone who was in his undies with metal needles with bits of colored tape on the ends, in a warm room, on his back, staring at slightly dusty acoustical ceiling tile.
I left his office refreshed.
I spent the afternoon assembling my materials library and chatting with a new friend online. "Acupuncture was fun!" I said. "My qi is, like, totally balanced and stuff."
Last on my day's list of pleasures was red velvet cupcakes, from a friend's bakery. He had no more. I was too late. Crushed, I began telling him about my acupuncture experience, when the new friend I was chatting with came out of a little drawer full of cheese in the back and waved. I've never met him before. We talked and eventually I refocused on red velvet. Like my terrier I'm not easily distracted when there is food involved. The baker had some cupcakes, but no frosting. He gave me the duds, and I ate them with the scrapings of the last bits of frosting from his frosting knife. List of pleasures complete. I was kidding about the Dominic Purcell date.