Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
This cold spell has really unmotivated me to work out. It has been so cold that my place is freezing no matter how much heat is pumped out of our radiators. This has forced me to bundle up with several layers, sit on the couch, eating something, while watching the Australian Open on ESPN2. I love tennis. I've been playing since I was five. I was elated this past summer when my highschool hitting partner moved into NYC. We got season tennis passes to NYC's public courts and just embarrassed ourselves out there. We had a grand time.
I miss the carefree days of hitting with the tennis ball all day long on the public courts. I miss the heat of the sun that beats down on your body as you run side to side smacking the ball back and forth. I long for the freedom of just spending the day playing tennis. I long for the heat. I am over the cold. I am over the snow. I want some warmth. Later.
Just a reminder, the water fountain at the gym is for drinking. I can accept filling up ONE water bottle with water and then moving on. Not two. Here are some things I don't want or need to see being done at the water fountain:
Rinsing one's face
Soaking your gym towel
Washing your hands
Is it me or does anyone else find all this abhorent behavior? Later.
When I first started working out, my goal was to change my body. I wanted to shed my old self. I wanted to get rid of the 220 pounds of fat that I had become. I wanted to stand tall and proud. I wanted to be able to move like a gazelle. I wanted to wear nicer clothes. I wanted to have some sort of figure. I wanted to be a 6' tall, lean & muscular, blond, and blue-eyed man.
Above all other things, I wanted to be something I was not and could not attain. I spent a lot of time doing cardio and taking group exercise classes. When I hit a plateau, I began lifting weights. I also bleached my hair and started eating low fat, low carb, and high protein. On a whim, I did some drugs and never looked back. I loved how they made me feel in-touch and how they made me something I never was, skinny. I was snorting crystal meth, cocaine, special K. I was dropping acid, taking hits of ecstasy, and even shots of GHB. I loved how it made me become part of a group that I aspired to be. My favorite memory was one of me buying drugs for my druggie pals on the piers during a gay-pride party. I had arrived. I was there. I was it. The tall, good-looking, blond men loved me for being such a party boy. It meant that I was one of them. I was part of the in-crowd. I was them.
Then one day, it hit me: I will never be 6' tall, blue-eyed, and permanently blond. So, I stopped. I stopped taking drugs. I stopped going to clubs every weekend. I started eating properly. I started working out responsibly. I stopped changing who I am. I started appreciating what I had and what I had to offer. I worked to improve me for me.
I looked in the mirror and finally liked what I saw: a 5' 6" tall, black-haired Filipino who had some great things going. I liked my strong, muscular legs with calves that others would kill for. I liked that I genetically had wider shoulders than most of everyone. I liked my shaved head. I liked the way my left eye is slightly lazy than the right. I liked that I had gapped teeth. I liked that I laughed at my own jokes.
I met someone. I fell in love. He returned the love. It's been going strong for almost six years. He's not perfect. He shouldn't be. He makes me laugh. He makes me smile. He makes me think. He makes me think that I am okay. He makes me think that I am fine. He makes me think that I am beautiful. He makes me want to be me. Later.
While getting dressed in the lockerroom at a local Chelsea gym, I heard some gentleman, we'll call him Bill, ask another gentleman, we'll call him Jeb, if he was headed to dinner. Jeb replied, "Oh, it's after 9:00pm. I probably won't eat." Bill then asked Jeb if he was kidding. Jeb replied, "But, isn't it bad to eat after 8:00pm?" Bill replied, and much to his credit, "So you think it is better to starve your body than nourish it?"
Yes, my friends. This is the mentality of a lot of young gay men. These are my bretheren. Forget the fact that we are fighting for gay marriage and equal rights. Carbohydrates and nourishment are the real enemy. We don't need health benefits for domestic partners. What we need are 8-pack abs for the night of dancing at the Roxy.
When did eating become such a vice? Or an option? Eating is something we need to do to survive. Yes, kids. We need to eat or we will die. Just remember that we need to eat and not gorge ourselves. Later.
As I sit here getting tipsy on a mediocre Pinot Noir, it has occured to me that I am a bitch. I love picking a fight especially when I know I am right and can get someone in trouble. I have never been one to shy away from getting somebody reprimanded for not doing their job. I especially relish telling others they are wrong. Is this weird? Is this just the wine?
Last June, my friend John agreed to teach a set of my classes. After going through the proper channels of reporting this substitution, so that he get paid instead of me, I inadvertently got paid for the classes he taught. Fast forward to December and I get a call from my "supervisor" at the group exercise office telling me that my paycheck was going to be garnished for these classes.
I got my paycheck, in which I was supposed to be garnished, and noticed that the full amount was not deducted from my check. As a matter of fact, only one-third of the expected amount was removed from my paycheck. For some reason, I decided to contact the group exercise office to inform them of this error. My "supervisor" asked me to fax her my paystub so that she could check to make sure that I was correct.
First of all, who the fuck has a fax machine available for their use immediately? Second, since when was it my job to do the legwork to make sure that money gets deducted from my paycheck? Out of the goodness of my heart (hee hee!), I contacted them to inform them of the extra money that I received on my check. And I am supposed to fax my fucking paystub to her so that she can tell me if I am right about that fact?!?!?!?!? Bitch, I know how to read my fucking paystub! Furthermore, I am not the one losing out on cash. Contact your fucking payroll department and find out who fucked up.
Well, I decided to email a complaint to my supervisor's supervisor, who happens to be an old friend. I thought that this would be the end of it. This evening, I was "cc'd" a letter from my supervisor asking payroll to check on this discrepancy. Apart from this CC'd email being unnecessary, the information she sent the payroll department was absolutely incorrect. This made me more furious because it was obvious that she did not pay attention to what the problem was.
So, I shot out an email to all the parties involved stating the correct information and, in the most honey-dripped scarcastic tone, informed them that "out of the goodness of my heart, I was just trying to make sure that they did not lose any money because of an error in reporting the payroll." I expect to be called in to be reprimanded for actions.
For some reason, I could not just leave good enough alone. I saw an opportunity to get this specific person in trouble and pounced on it. Lately, many other instructors have complained about the arrogance and stupidity of my supervisor. I have not been the brunt of it until this incident. For some reason, I relished really "sticking it to her and twisting the knife further in." Am I evil? Should I not have sent the email correcting her? Should I drink more wine? Later.
It's a new year for me and a new year in general. After some experimentation at the end of last year, it has become clear to me that I love teaching step class. There. I've said it; it's done. Take it as you will.
I think in general, I love to teach. Before graduating from high school, my parents asked me what I wanted to do. I instantly mentioned that I would love to become a Mathematics teacher. Since my parents are Asian, they had more grandiose and economically-lucrative plans for my future. After a couple of talks, "I" decided on taking on Electrical Engineering as my major. Long story short, I had a great time in college, graduated with honors, got a fantastic job out of school, quit within two years, and started working at a health club for $6.00/hour.
After taking on various jobs within the fitness field, I finally centered on teaching group exercise classes. I loved it. I still do. There is something about teaching that really vicerally satisfies someone. I also currently work at a wine store that has a tasting bar. One of my favorite moments at the wine store is when a customer comes in for a tasting and asks me to help them with something about wine. Nothing pleases me more than helping someone learn something new. I love it when, as you are helping someone, they get that look on their face (like a lightbulb turning on) when they understand something new. It is very satisfying to me.
Now, please don't get me wrong because teaching can be very difficult; especially when you are dealing with someone who is in class who is just not interested in being there. We all assume that if you attend a class, you attend it on your own accord because you are interested in learning something. Not always true. There are times when you dread coming into work because you know that there is that difficult person who insists on coming to you even though they have made it clear that you do not satisfy their "need" to learn. To these people, we wish death.
Overall, teaching has always been something I think I am good at and something that I love. One thing I don't love is the phrase, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." Not everyone can teach. The group exercise classes certainly prove that. How many of you have had a poor instructor? I think the phrase should change. It should become, "Those who can, do. Those who teach, can." Later.