Take Nothing Home, Give Something Back


While I didn’t follow the ten bullet pointed directions exactly as I had written them out last night, I did, for the most part, start my day according to the roadmap we’d set up and I do appreciate the messages of well-wishes and the support you all sent. Because of that, today was a wonderful day. Good starts have great value.

I ended up at the 09:00 CrossFit this morning and I think that, in the interest of helping me to schedule my time more efficiently, that’s the way it’s going to go from here on out until I reach my current fitness goals. For the next little bit at least I’m going to go with 09:00 CrossFit, 15:00 Powerlifting, six days on, one day off, eat clean, rest lots, pray. I’ll miss my 13:00 CrossFit gang but it’s clear that I need a huge chunk of time after my morning ritual to get to the page in the way that I want to. Tomorrow, I’ll begin with the same ten bullet points. Again, thanks for the support.

The WOD (Workout of Day– CrossFit language) was brutal today but great as always. We warmed up with three rotations of 250 m row, ten pushups, and 10 wall-balls. The skill section was parrellets and I improved my “L-sit” substantially since the last time we did them. The WOD was hard. Three rotations (21-15-9 reps) of 10 Thrusters, 10 ball-slams, and then carry that ball on a 500 m run.  I “left it all in the on the field” and took nothing home with me. This afternoon I went to the meathead gym for some heavy, slow chest lifts.

What I really want to tell you though about it what happened right after CrossFit. I drove by my old high school on my way home and when I glanced over at my old Alma Mater, I saw that the band was practicing in the parking lot. Immediately, my mind was flooded with memories. I was in that band and in fact I was the drum major. I pulled into the parking lot and decided to watch them practice a little bit.

One of the parents introduced himself to me and I told him that I used to lead the Viking Band way back in the day. He pointed out the current drum major so I walked over and shook hands with the lad and let him know I was his ancestor. I offered to help him out in any way that I could. Risking immodesty as I am wont to do, I told him I’d pretty dang good at the job. The band director walked by and we chatted for a minute. He asked if I’d be willing to come to the band room right before they broke for lunch and say a few words. And opportunity to be the center of attention? Oh you bet. I told him I’d be happy to.

It was amazing to stand on that podium where I’d been thirty-plus years ago. I tried as best I could to share some wisdom with them in the five minutes I’d been given to speak. I mentioned briefly that I’m gay (important since I knew some of my audience was likely dealing with some of the same gay teenager angst I did during the Regan years. It was important for the non-queer kids too). I “came out” as a recovering alcoholic and warned them about the dangers of addiction.

The thing I regret saying is– well, I made a little dig against the quarterbacks and homecoming queens of the world only later to realize that my own brother was the quarterback at that school. I said something about “those people” going on to sell trailers or something like that. My brother has certainly done well in his life and has been a positive influence on thousands of people. What if, also, some of those kids have parents who “sell trailers?” That was less than skillful. I’ve always had a bad taste in my mouth for mobile home salesmen (uh, excuse me– manufactured homes) because I once new a (seedy) “gentleman” who did that for a living and would get off work and share several Crown Royals with me while talking about “burying another young couple in one” that day (financing them into a product that would diminish in value so rapidly and for so long that they would likely never pay it off– disgusting). Anyway, I digress. I’m sure there are a lot of quarterbacks and homecoming queens that go on to contribute to society– guess I’ve discovered a little chunk of ancient resentment that needs to be dealt with.

All that notwithstanding, I hope I said something that helped at least one kid in some way. I’m posting the link to the video here in case you want to watch. The thing I say at 1:25 that you can’t understand is “Noah, you’re a lucky young man.” Noah is the current drum major. I was lucky too. Maybe I only realize how much all these years later.

I did so love standing in front of 200 musicians, raising my arms and commanding music from all those talented young artists back in my high school days. Being able to be a part of creating beauty and also having some sort of control making something happen with I felt, in general, so out of control back then– well, it’s something I’ll always be grateful for and something I’ll never forget.

Cick here to watch the video

I hope you enjoy.

See y’all tomorrow.

About this entry