Way too much – Way too soon.   1 comment

new members at the Ymca are like chocolates. you never know how crazy they are until you bite them.

so he joined the y. as he was getting his tour of the building i was introduced. he wants to be an mma fighter. ok well that means lots of working out. i can help with that. we made an appointment to work out the following day. introduction+brief discussion=5 minutes.

the following day…
in walks dude ready for a workout.
me: hey gimme 5 minutes, i’m changing some stuff in your routine before we start.
dude: no prob! …so last night one of my biggest fantasies came true…
me: (in my head) oh please, please let this be about food, or sports, or anything, just don’t be what i think it might be.
dude: i had a 3some. they are still in my bed. i wish i was still at home.
me: God… why? seriously, why? no really God, im bein’ f’realz. why? is this a lesson? a practical joke? is this payback? did sarah ask you do dink me cuz i play call of duty a lot? it is, isn’t it? i will change. i can be a better man. just please make him go away! let me wake up now and be at home. i will throw open the window and yell to passing kids and buy turkeys for poor people.
dude: i’m ready to workout!
me: sigh… ok.

we proceeded to put him through his workout. it lasted 45 minutes. he made 3 sexual references. they were dependent on which body part we were exercising. then he would giggle maniacally. i felt dirty after the appointment. i wanted to pour bleach in my ears. and down his throat.

so today he came in again. not to workout. just to talk. to hang. to get my phone number. to be my best friend. know how i know? cuz he told me that he told one of his 2 ladies (the one he “cares” about) that the best part about the Y is that the trainers really want to help you and you should be friends with your trainer. so he invited me to hang out.

i don’t really care if you are into 3somes, or 4somes. i personally prefer awesomes. with my wife.

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Posted January 4, 2013 by john b in oh ssstop

it never ends (you can Skip the complaining)   Leave a comment

it doesn’t happen often, but every so often someone close passes away. this week it was the very unexpected passing of my friend nick’s dad. he wasn’t old, and he wasn’t sick. it was a shock.

so as per usual i hit facebook for details, and really just to see if nick and his bro had posted anything (i didn’t think they would), and i wanted to see the friend responses. i was looking for a few things but really i wanted to know how to respond. i mean… i wanted to text or write, but… what do you say? i started 3 texts that day and just deleted them without sending. finally, later that night, i sent nick a text.

the thing that always gets me is that my friend’s dad is gone. that right there is my biggest fear in life. my dad will pass away sometime, probably not in the too-distant future.

while nick and his fam and friends are stricken with grief facebook is alive with funny pics, not funny pics, complaints, pics and updates about the glories of coffee in the morning, quotes from drake (which i am positive are NOT from drake), quotes from just about everyone… blah blah blah. it just becomes noise.

at first it angered me. then, when i wasn’t so emotional, it made a little bit of sense. it struck me that what was important enough to write about, or capture in a pic, was so trivial compared to the loss and the grief that many were going through. then i realized that many people go through that daily while i post updates about hockey, or constipation, or music, or whatever. it’s just how we get through life. no one wants to hurt. everyone wants to get past it. i am not suggesting for a minute that the passing of Skip will be forgotten any time soon. not ever. but the daily little stuff goes on. and it is good that it does.

i will always be frustrated with people who claim that their day is ruined because their car radio doesn’t work, or they spilled something, or whatever. i hate complaining. especially when i think about how wonderful nick’s fam is. and they are going through this right after thanksgiving and right before christmas. way to shoot future holidays down. so you can understand when i clench my teeth when you post loudly that this day was doomed to failure the moment you realized you didn’t have enough milk for your cereal.

life goes on but can’t we adjust our perspective a little? 

i get the distraction. we all need stuff to do and fix our attention on. maybe because of things like dads passing away. we look to little things to find pleasure in. that’s life i guess!

i look forward to finding simple pleasure in some xbox time with nick and fred very soon.

i will always remember skip. this world lost a great man. i feel bad for his family but i feel worse for the guys i know who never had a dad like skip; the women who never had or will have a husband like skip, and the men who never had a friend like Skip. 

ok im done. back to facebook…

Posted December 6, 2012 by john b in philosofickle

Sooo Shallow   Leave a comment

I think at some point I am going to write a book on how facebook has changed my life. I learn new things about myself and others almost every time I log on. I saw a status update recently that almost prompted me to reply and most likely offend/lose a friend. Not cool JB, not cool. So instead I decided to direct my frustration at the post into a blog and hopefully give it quite a bit more thought power than a simple, “Hey, you are stupid and here are 5 reasons why!”

To be honest, I really wanted to blog because as I applied more thought process to the status update I realized some things that I was kind of surprised at.

Ok so let us start with the status update… It more or less stated that a certain gender as a whole is “shallow” because *the facebook staus updater* receives more attention now that he/she has lost weight but he/she has not changed in personality so he/she has no respect for people who would give attention to someone who has lost weight. I literally started talking out loud to myself after reading the update. And then wrote a comment to them. Then deleted the comment. Then went to bed to try to wrap my head around the whole thing. I need to do that more often because my first response is almost never the best response.

So this person is frustrated because after they made themself more attractive they were getting more attention. I know that isn’t what they were thinking but that’s the truth of the matter.

You see, somewhere along the road attractiveness on a physical level got a bad wrap. Let me point something out. Even the most self righteous of us do many many things that expend much of our time on being physically attractive. Yeah I know, I can hear your thoughts, and that you just said “not me!” to your computer screen.

Those jeans that you bought- you thought they were physically attractive and looked physically attractive on you and either increased your physical attractiveness or minimized your un-attractiveness. When able, we pick out a car that is physically attractive. We have a favorite color that directs our choices of physical things. We make our hair look as physically attractive as possible before leaving in the morning and I would argue that you might do that again at other times during the day. You get a tan because it is physically attractive. Every piece of clothing you have is based in its attractiveness to you and then your attractiveness in it. You went to the gym and lost the weight because you didn’t like yourself with the weight. In other words you were not physically attracted to yourself.

All attraction to other humans starts with physical attraction. The physical side of it may fade in importance at times but it is still there and cannot be removed. Sexual attraction is hugely impacted by physical attraction and some people are probably reading this and asking themselves if there is a difference in the two.

You choose pets by level of physical attraction. We admire babies because of physical attraction. I understand that pets and babies exceed physical attraction, but it is there.

All of the entertainment industry is built on physical attraction and in most all of the advanced, industrialized world lean-ness is more physically attractive than fatness.

All of your favorite tv shows are made up of handpicked physically superior people. The same goes for movies. Unless humor is the goal, physical attractiveness powers the industries of entertainment, retail, fashion, fitness, music, sports, and every day interaction at every level.

So you made yourself more attractive to yourself but you are angry because you also made yourself more attractive to others as well. That sounds like someone struggling to find some self worth. So I got angry at the statement of someone who has a low self esteem. I wanted to address their stupid statement that was made out of their low self worth. Shame on me.

Posted November 12, 2012 by john b in philosofickle

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BMHL Hockey In Your Face   Leave a comment

I have been subbing in the Batavia Men’s Hockey League (BMHL). It is pretty much a dream come true. I have been working for this chance for about 4 years now. Around here there isn’t much else to do with any hockey aspirations, other than pickup hockey late at night with less-than-motivated skaters.

Since the BMHL is organized, and they actually keep score, and there is a player ranking based on skill and speed, I wanted to be in it. The BMHL would provide an unbiased gauge of my progress, and would continually track it from year to year. So a guy breaks his leg, and I am in while he heals. 6-8 weeks. Hopefully next season I will have a full time position.

Lessons I am learning…

I had no idea how physical it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I am a physical player, and I love bumping and such, but these guys play hard and dirty.

I like bumping shoulders. They like hitting you with their stick, and fists, and elbows. This week an older player looked me in the eye and cross-checked me in the facemask with his stick. When that had no effect he used his gloved fist. When that had no effect he did it again. I skated away when play moved to the other end of the ice. Obviously I have new rules to learn.

The thing is, it doesn’t hurt. None of it hurts. Any part of me that could be hurt by any part of another player is covered with padding, helmet, or cage. But it sure gets your blood boiling. Try it sometime. When you are in a heated discussion, debate, or argument, apply a light blow to the other persons face. See what happens. Do it to a stranger too. Just for the sake of science.

We won the game. Had we not been winning, or had no chance of winning, I probably would have shown the nice man what happens when his slow, old, fat, weak self meets an object about 6 inches taller, stronger and much faster.

Maybe.

I still haven’t decided if it is best to show that I can’t be goaded into physical response. Still haven’t found if lack of response will just encourage more abuse. Still learning the league and its ways.

Ah, the BMHL. I love it so far, and I hate it thus far. Still figuring out how I fit in and I don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize my ability to fit in.

Posted November 12, 2012 by john b in hockey

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Bruno the Huge   Leave a comment

I had an appointment today with a gentleman named Bruno. Bruno came to me years ago to start training to become big and muscular. The he stopped coming after about 4 sessions. And now he is back.

Bruno is not all there. I don’t think he is even mostly there. Probably about 50% there. And now he is here wanting to be huge.

I am 6 ‘ 2, 205 lbs. Bruno is 6 ft, 147 lbs. Bruno is very, VERY small. And crazy.

He talks about the military. He said was in the military, and often refers to basic training. Today, while doing the bench press, he said it was the military that taught him to breathe correctly while lifting. He was actually correct regardless of how he came upon the information. 

Then he said, “black cops don’t quit”. 

I thought that was an odd statement to make while lifting. Bruno isn’t black, and  Bruno isn’t an officer of the law.

Then I realized he said “Black-Ops don’t quit”. Ahhh… like xbox. Silly me. Of course, video games don’t quit.

Bruno is one of those guys that I just know is spinning my wheels. He is a waste of time. He won’t continue and he won’t ever be muscular. He won’t even be average.

I was very tempted to put him out of his misery by putting him into his misery. Meaning, I would work him hard enough that, when he wakes up tomorrow morning, he will feel like his rotund wife had been jumping up and down on him all night long. Second appointment? Doubtful.

Bruno’s wife is very small. She is 5 ft tall and about the same width as she is high. She wants to lose weight. But she doesn’t want to work out. I sympathize with her and put her on a bike for 20 minutes. She barely made it. Barely. But I was proud of her and gave her a high five. And Bruno said he was proud of her and suggested they go to Wendy’s for cheeseburgers. And he wasn’t kidding. His logic was that a cheeseburger isn’t bad once in a while. I agreed with him but then flatly commented that what his wife will eat following her first ever workout to lose weight probaly should be something leaner. He said, “Like what?” I said, “You can’t think of anything?” Bruno makes me want to slap my forehead. Actually, Bruno makes me want to slap Bruno’s forehead.

This all sounds very mean. I don’t want to be mean. It is the facts of being a trainer. Sometimes you just know when a client is a complete waste of time and energy.

I wish he would stick with it though. With a name like Bruno he really should be a tough guy.

Posted November 6, 2012 by john b in oh ssstop

How Burger King Ruins Us   Leave a comment

ok, i actually really like BK. Bk lets us have it our way. and let me tell you, i like it my way. first thing to do is get the mayo off the burger. burgers are greasy enough. i dont need xtra grease on that fatty meat puck. step 2… xtra pickles. there… perfect burger. want bacon? go for it. you may have to pay extra but its soooo worth it.

the thing is… sometimes we dont get things our way. sometimes its best if we dont. there are a lot of people on this planet. what would happen if we all got it our way? and im not talking about burgers. but i think you knew that.

i run a gym. let me tell you what i deal with because everyone wants it their way…

1 lady wants a speaker next to a certain machine because she doesnt want to be bothered with bringing her own music. so i had to hang and wire up a single speaker for her.

another lady wants that same speaker off when she works out cuz that loud obnoxious music “has no rhythm”.  so i have to turn it off for her and then back on for the other lady.

one guy changes the radio station to classic rock every day. no one else wants classic rock so i have to change it back when he leaves.

one older lady wants a fan hung on the wall to point directly at her when she uses a certain machine. 3 of my other regulars unplug the fans when they come in cuz they want to sweat. but one woman always turns my thermostat down lower than it can actually handle so i have to monitor that too.

one guy (lets call him barbara) likes our gym because we are not a bunch of rules and clueless employees that enforce rules with no real idea as to why they have those rules.

then barbara went to the CEO of our company to complain about dust on some weights. then the director came to me and made me clean them. then not 5 mins later barbara comes up and asks how my day is going. i ignored barbara. that guy irks me. especially since i took his side when he got into a fight with another member. im rethinking that move.

some members want more treadmills while others want 120 lb dumbells.

the moral of the story is that sometimes you gotta just do your thing and stop worrying about all the extras. people get so used to having things just so. then they have the hardest time dealing with things and people that are not just so.

sometimes i really get discouraged. i want to leave people and just be alone. but i guess that is just me wanting things the way that i want them. so i take my own advice and let people be people and try to deal.

Posted September 4, 2012 by john b in philosofickle

gotta know your weaknesses in order to fix them   Leave a comment

i work at a gym. in fact, i run the gym. dont get all impressed on me cuz it really isnt that impressive. i pretty much just schedule everyone to work and then try to make them actually work.

i like the gym. when i started lifting weights it taught me a lot about me and people in general.

why lift weights? well for me i had a few goals.

  1. i wanted to have muscles and be powerful
  2. i wanted to be hott for my wife, whomever she would turn out to be
  3. i wanted to be athletic so that i could do stuff with my kids, whenever i had kids.

i have since added a 4th element and that is that i want to maximize and sustain my athletic ability for hockey and sports in general.

one thing i learned from all of this is that in order to be good at something you have to identify your weaknesses and train them.

i think someone who succeeds in life is good at identifying their weaknesses. someone with low self esteem is at risk of glossing over those weaknesses and focusing on their strengths. i see that a lot in the gym. guys and girls come in and do what they enjoy the most or what they are good at but shy away from the harder things. instead of the gym being a place to make them better they use the gym as a place to bolster their ego or self esteem. that’s why i see guys bench-pressing much of the time.

the bench-press is widely regarded as a symbol of power. “how much do you bench?” frequently asked question. stupid question.

to a guy who is trying to build his body the weights are just tools. unfortunately it is more common to see the weights using the tools. get it?

if i am building a house, and the house is turning out nice, is it really important to you what size hammer i am using? you see, the numbers get in the way. guys and girls want to focus on their numbers, but really they want to focus on their numbers in relation to YOUR numbers. the numbers mean nothing if not compared to other numbers.

some guys that have low self esteem become the best bodybuilders. you see that many of the best bodybuilders in the world are short. it is somewhat rare to see bodybuilders over 6 ft tall. not to say all short guys have esteem issues. but it makes me wonder.

ok back to my original topic…

identify your weaknesses. i.e. what are your problems. how many times do we decide what it is we want and then justify that with excuses. i have known many friends who are like that. one got married for all the wrong reasons but justified it in his head because he wanted to enjoy that girl’s private parts, but didnt love her enough to even have a job, or any idea of who he was or what being a husband-father meant.

i deal with people every day who lie to me constantly. its unfortunate because if i could i would tell them, “look, i dont care in the least what you eat. i dont care if you come to my gym or not. all i am trying to do is help you attain your goals. if you want to be lean, and you eat crap all the time, but you lie to me about it, YOU lose. not me”.

for all i know those people lie to themselves. if you lie to yourself can you really even help but lie to others? what kind of reality is that? if your inner dialog is BS, then what do you think comes out of your mouth?

in my job there is nothing worse then going through the motions of training and talking with someone when i know they will not continue on, and if they do they still wont achieve their results, and will quit at some point. if a healthy dose of honesty was infused in our relationship then real progress could be made. i had a girl who finally told me her problem is that she needs to eat ice cream at some point every day. you know what? we worked around it and she made the progress she wanted to make. all she had to do was tell me.

this isn’t really about the gym. it is a decent analogy, but it’s life in general that is the point. what are your weaknesses? do you need to make them stronger? avoiding them actually makes them weaker.

Posted July 25, 2012 by john b in Uncategorized