February 2009

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Made a cake last night to take to Friday Lunch. It was a pretty big hit, especially considering as I had no idea what I was doing, and had no recipe to follow.
As I recall, here’s about how it came together:

    1 can-sized can of pumpkin glorp.
    1/2 cup or so sugar
    1/4 cup or so maple syrup
    A couple hard shakes of salt
    Not quite a teaspoon of baking soda. Or powder.

And: Some flour. Really no idea here… I just added flour to the wet mix bit by bit until I got a cake-battery consistency.

Baked in a buttered/floured pan, probably too large (made for a thin cake) for 375 degrees until done.

Cool, then slice in half and fill with a cup or so of tapioca custard. I doctored the custard with a 1/2 cup or so of cream cheese, softened and stirred into the hot custard.

It was yummy.

So today was to be the big day, the first day of my all-new super-motivated post-vacation fitness regime.
After work, I rode down to the gym at the Marriot, a gym known for being largely unknown and non-intimidating, perfect for newbie me.
The first sign of wrongness was the giant banner in the hotel foyer: “Welcome Atlantic 10 Conference!” Now, as a western Canadian non-jock, I should have no idea what this means, except that it sounds somehow eastern American jockish.
And yep, instead of the usual nearly-abandoned gym and pool complex, I found myself swarmed by lycra-clad name-branded college athletes and their coaches. Running drills in the parking lot, stretching en masse in the foyer, packing gym… Getting changed, I was sure a spontaneous frat-boy towel-fight was was bound to break out in the locker room.
I tried my best to block it out, and staked out a space in the quietest corner of the gym. At this point I really have no idea what I’m ding, just trying to recall old workouts from long ago; upper back and shoulders, rotator cuff; high reps, low weight, literally squeezing my eyes shut to try and block out the horde of elite gym-monkeys around me.
Three sets in, and I was asked to leave; “inappropriate footwear”, but I’m fairly certain the staff was simply embarrassed to have a clearly un-fit person in their midst.
I want to be fitter, and work towards it, I really do. I just don’t know if my motivation is strong enough to get through this ridiculous shit.

Around 8 years of age, I made a sort of vow to myself, a commitment to never forget what it was like to be a kid. To this day, I feel like I’ve been pretty successful at keeping that commitment, although the end result of such has both changed me and been changed by me over the years.
Maybe it all lies in the subtle difference between “always remembering” and “never forgetting”.
Either way, I’ve been a little kid for a very long time. Sometimes that holds my adult self back. On the other hand, sometimes -oftentimes- a pervasive childlike wonder and emotional/creative openness has made for much beautiful and interesting life experience.
Part of the inception of this commitment has always been the feeling that the “grown ups” had all really lost touch with their child-selves, and parallel to my own adult experience has been the feeling that all too many of my contemporaries have done just that.
But, whoa, let me fast-forward to the now.
So many of the interpersonal conflicts I’ve witnessed in my life and in the lives of my peers over these last few “grown-up” years suddenly seem -to me, anyways- to come straight out of highschool. With that, the realization that the grown-ups, me included, haven’t really been growing up that much after all; that we’re each mainly still the kids we were, 15-20 years old, with all our adult fears and foibles rooted in highschool, forever.
Only in this last year or so have I -surprisingly- caught myself stepping away or aside from some of my self-imposed commitment. Maybe it’s been the ol’ “Adventure At Sea” syndrome, or just enough perspective on my past. Either way, I’m surprising myself with how I deal with those parts of my life that would previously had my highschool self on the ropes or out the door. Maybe.
Right now, it’s time to go clean my room. 😉

I should surf the web more than I do, seriously. Thataway, I’d find more crazy cool shit like this: Daniel Rozin.

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