Things I’ve learned from being a personal trainer: Equitable division of resources

December 6, 2009

I used to be pretty good at this. Writing, that is. The ability has atrophied a little these past few months. It’s not just that I’ve barely written or read; I’ve barely thought. I have been so immersed in the physical being of others and my own, whole levels of processing have fallen into disuse. I told a dude at the mall that a calliope was a word that sounded like its meaning…which I suppose it is, but not in the definitional sense he was looking for. A subtle error, but the sort of semantic minutia I used to excel at.

I have this theory: you can only spend a certain amount of aptitude at once. It’s not so much a function of time as it is karmic allotment. You don’t get to be good at everything. There is this tacit agreement between brain and the superficial body that the interest of one will be served before the other. My brain has taken the dozen or so hours of intense working out a week as a clear sign its services are no longer needed. Sadly I now lack the wit to convince it otherwise.

In the past three months I’ve gone from moderately fit to conspicuously buff. There is this place between a six and eight pack where your physicality becomes this aberrant social marker: people assume you’ve either just finished a long bid in prison, are sublimating hidden rage, or work in the sort of job reserved for gym class standouts/high school dropouts. You become this enviable, if marginal, species that couldn’t possibly be of consequence. And dear lord is it seductive: that peculiar mix of unearned worth and low expectation. To have clearly realized some small potential; it’s the sort of thing one could happily live down to.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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3 Responses to “Things I’ve learned from being a personal trainer: Equitable division of resources”

  1. max Says:

    Oh you are just taunting me with an eight pack now. Sheesh.

  2. Chief Negotiator, VBWU Says:

    This is a classic case of management publicly escalating a minor dispute in order to elicit sympathy where none is deserved.

    Let me be clear: Mr. Valliant’s brain has not walked off the job. Mr. Valliant’s brain has continued to perform to the letter all of its functions as outlined in the collective agreement, proof of which is obvious in the above blog posting. At no point has Mr. Valliant’s brain placed its own welfare above that of its comrades in Local 515, Skeletal muscle group. In fact, Mr. Valliant’s brain has, in collaboration with the independent contractors of his vocal system, routinely encouraged and promoted the work of Local 515. Commands delivered to friends family and strangers along the lines of “Feel my muscles! FEEEEEL THEM!” have been successfully met with groping and favourable expressions ranging from exclamations of “Oh wow!” to the subtle but unmistakeable “Holy fucking shit” conveyed through the raising of an eyebrow.

    Early days in the new career had brain and muscles working at odds, to be sure. Wake up times of 5 AM followed by a 15 hour work day were not in the best interests of either party. Recent improvements to the work schedule have, however, resulted in a far more satisfactory arrangement where both parties have time to demonstrate their respective strengths. I encourage the further development of this accommodation strategy but in light of earlier accusations I must end with a warning: If Mr. Valliant continues to libel his brain’s work ethic, he can count on never again winning a game of Settlers of Catan.

    Sincerely,
    Mushka Gustafson
    Chief Negotiator, Local 001, Executive Functions
    Valliant Body Workers Union

  3. sulya Says:

    Okay. Valliant. That is quite long enough. I am with Chief Negotiator, VBWU. You are fully capable of being excellent at more than one thing at a time.

    It is time for a return to words.

    The very fabric of the universe demands it.

    It told me so.


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