Saturday, June 6, 2020

Performative Wokeness, Those Clowns on YouTube, Groovin’ on the Grid

In case you weren’t aware, there have been Goings-On this past week. I’ve vacillated about whether or not to talk about them on this (decidedly non-political) blog. I prefer to avoid engaging in what could be perceived as performative wokeness. I've seen enough of that this week from people and corporations alike. But it feels weird not to at least acknowledge it. So consider it acknowledged. We will now continue with our regular weekly program.

Since my trainer has all but abandoned me what with his tech issues and now a surgery (he could have done our session last week from his hospital bed, but noooooo, instead he chose to spend his time “healing up”) I am once again stuck with getting my fitness advice from a parade of clownish You tubers. One of the most clownish of all besides Swolenormous, who I have come to grudgingly admire, is Greg Doucette. He apparently won some world records in body-building and is sort of a big deal in that world, but I don’t know much about him other than that he got into trouble with the law a while back for selling sub-legal substances to his clients, and that he sounds exactly like Gilbert Gottfried. He’s egotistical and ADD-addled and crude and bombastic, but when you get past all of that, what he actually says makes a lot of sense. I was delighted to hear him rant last week in his latest video about the insanity we engage in around food, and why tracking macros is useless and silly and a total waste of time. I very lazily and inaccurately semi-track my calories, but as disordered as I am around food, I could never bring myself to start tracking macros. It was a relief to hear him talk about what nonsense that is. His human side came through and I could see real pain on his face when he said, “It never used to be this complicated. People just ate. When I was a kid, we had a wood stove in our house, and if we didn’t have birch wood to burn, we put other stuff in there. It didn’t matter. Whatever we put in there, it burned for fuel. It’s same with your body.” That made a breathtaking amount of sense to me.

In my ongoing quest to make top dollar in House Flipper, I started entering the garden competitions, which, if you “win” them, makes you big bucks. But I have been struggling mightily with the concept of the Modern Garden. The Modern Garden seemed ugly to me, and I just could not get my mind around the aesthetic. I tried three times to half-ass it in an attempt to “fool” the algorithm, but as junky as that game’s code is, it wasn’t having it. I failed every time and I felt as bad I did when I was a kid and I got an F on a school assignment. It was clear that I was going to have to actually buckle down and learn how to create a proper Modern Garden. It finally clicked with me when I realized that it was grid-based. I have a strong preference for the loose, free-flowing English Garden, all wild and colorful and in deference to nature. The Modern Garden is very much about strict design and the imposition of a specific aesthetic upon the natural world. But when I realized I just needed to change my thinking and get into a “grid” mentality, I was able to put a winning one together, and I actually came to appreciate the weird beauty and structure of it. And, as Mr. Typist pointed out when I told him I wasn’t a grid-thinker, “You’d better become one, because the whole world is based on a grid.” Having studied spatial archetypes in college (filed under My Useful Degree), I definitely have some things to quibble with him about that assertion, but I will leave it for another time.

This week’s video is from that unicorn of the internet, a sensible fitness guru. I love James Linker and his calm, measured demeanor and dry sense of humor. And I love the message of this video. It really nails why I am doing all of this crazy stuff with the fitness and the lifting in mid-life. Part of it is that I just fell in love with lifting, shockingly and unexpectedly. Never in a million years would I have expected that to happen. But a big part of it is that I really do want to be in good shape moving forward. I work in a hospital. I know what can happen to a body. And I love the new-found feeling of challenging myself physically, something that I never had the confidence to do before. I wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t genuinely bring me joy and the still-unfamiliar but good feeling of being strong. Enjoy James!

--Kristen McHenry


Dale said...

Yes, being a massage therapist, likewise, gives you a front-row seat on what happens to sedentary, overfed bodies. Nothing like losing a few favorite clients to complications of diabetes, & cancer, & heart disease, to sober you up and make you take this body maintenance thing seriously. said...

Sheer fun reading, Kristen!

The Good Typist said...

Thank you, Dale! I'm glad you enjoy my posts where I nerd out on the fitness stuff. I'm sure everyone else is sick of hearing about by now but I've become pretty passionate about it. It's nice to know I have a fellow fitness freak in my corner ;)

The Good Typist said...

Thank you, Master poet! :)