Saturday, June 18, 2011

What I've learned at the gym

I've learned a lot about myself and life by visiting the gym daily.  I'll share with you now my new found knowledge.

About me:

  • Were I in the need to lift a car off of a person, apparently my ass would be doing most of the work.  My ass-ceps are far more powerful than my thigh-oids.
  • Were I then in need to throw that car over my head with both arms (probably to impress a chick) I would be mostly using my shoulder and back since they are out of proportion stronger than my arms for some weird reason.
  • Speaking of out of proportion, I am.  I already knew this one but changing all the settings on the gym machines reminds me each time.  My legs and arms are not in proportion to my torso like a  normal human being, I'm a freak, and it's ok.
  • The muscles used to open my legs apart are stronger than the muscles used to close them shut *cough*slut*cough*
  • I've learned that I am much more comfortable with my body and self such that I do not have to quickly change when no one is looking, if I need to be naked, so be it.  However, I do not think I will ever be so comfortable to stand naked except for sandals and have a twenty minute discussion with someone.  Kudos to all you old naked men out there.
  • Due to the combination of lack of height, paranoia, and ocd-tendencies, I end every workout with a hop.  (I have to hop up to make sure I didn't leave anything behind on the locker shelf that I can't normally see even standing on tiptoes.)
  • I've also learned that some people are simply better than you or me.  I shall label them Elite and prove to you their existence through the following observations
  1. The Elite do not need to wipe down the gym equipment after using it.  Their sweat is so angelically hygienic that it is an honor and privilege for you to use the damp equipment when they are done.
  2. The Elite can use whatever equipment they want and when.  They do not need to follow the numerous posted signs proclaiming that people going through the full circuit have the right of way. Their time is simply more valuable than yours, why else would they jump onto a machine right before you and make you wait.
  3. The Elite are allowed to set their water bottles on a treadmill and (while the treadmill is still running) walk away to do some other part of their workout, making everyone else wait for a different machine.
  4. And based on all of the above, the Elite are male.
What I've learned about the YMCA in particular:
  • In order to accommodate for the old people and the children who make up the majority of pool users, the water will be so warm that no matter how many times you've been in it, you will immediately think upon entering it "Ugh, who just peed here?!"
One last observation, particularly useful for small business owners I would think.

  • If you own a parking lot that has 2 points of access and at one time in the distant past, these 2 points of access were unlabeled and acted as both an Exit and an Entrance, but are now very clearly labeled Entrance and Exit Only, you will always have drivers who drive in through the Exit and leave through the Entrance because at one time they were allowed to do so.  They are grandfather-claused and allowed to ignore both signage and fellow motorists.  (These drivers however are not members of the Elite, because these drivers are female.)
Something I've learned while typing this entry.  Sometimes things are funnier in your head.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Parenting tips

I think that an important aspect of being a good parent is understanding that sometimes small gestures and words can make a big impact on the future personality of your child.  There are many times that one of my non-parent friends will say "Oh wow I never thought of doing that but I can see how it could have a huge impact."  That's very vague so I'll give you an example.

I was recently at the grocery store and had the following encounter.

I was walking through the produce section when I turned the potatoes and found myself looking down the barrel of a bright red plastic toy gun in the hands of a young smiling boy.  Now, you can image a lot of people (well, those who wouldn't just ignore the kid) might put on a big smile and say "Oh no!  Please don't shoot me!"  Followed of course by the child pretending to shoot them.  But do you see what's so very wrong with this?  You're encouraging the child to shoot an unarmed person who's already clearly surrendered.  I'm a big fan of sarcasm, but sarcasm has no place in a gunfight!  Hmm, t-shirt idea: "Don't bring a knife, or sarcasm, to a gunfight".  Also, as a young child, they very well may not understand sarcasm at all, and yet they still pull the trigger or, in the case of a cheaper toy gun model, shout "BANG".  We'd be teaching this young impressionable child to abuse authority in a very extreme and dangerous manner.  If this child grows up to be in law enforcement, I wouldn't be surprised to find a charge of police brutality.  Or perhaps he'll slip into the underbelly of society and find himself facing manslaughter charges after a botched holdup.  The dark possibilities are endless.

That's what I mean about thinking about the long term consequences of small, seemingly unimportant, encounters.

So, instead of possibly ruining this child's life, I took that extra split second and thought about it and instead interacted with him in a much more positive manner.

Once the gun was pointed at me, I said "Aha!  I'm going to rape your mother and cut you into tiny pieces! Nothing will stop me unless I'm dead!"  See the difference?  Now I've given him a real reason to shoot me.  I've given him motivations that focus on family values, loyalty, and self reliance.  It's also a good life lesson about the real dangers of the modern world of decaying morals.  And maybe, just maybe, I've also given the mom a real reason why perhaps buying a toy gun for your kid and letting him shove it in the face of strangers isn't that great of an idea in the first place.