Tag Archive: gym

two days ago my bossman Darin told me about this story where a dad had picked up his young kid in the laundromat and stuffed him in a washing machine and closed the door [presumably as a joke or to teach him a lesson] but once the door locked the washing machine jumped into life and they couldn’t stop it or get him out until someone who worked at the place ran up and unplugged it and eventually managed to save the child. The child was apparently mostly fine [except maybe for the trauma suffered by your dad almost killing you in a washing machine]…

then yesterday i was at the gym, running on the treadmill in front of a wall of tvs and the incident came on two different channels which were showing news. sure enough the dad stuffed the kid into the machine and it suddenly starts and both parents frenetically try to stop the machine and the guy comes and stops it. it happened just as i had been told, except one thing really took me by surprise.

i decided to test out my theory on two people as we walked to the office yesterday and so i mentioned that i had seen the story on the tv and asked what colour the parents were. without hesitation they both answered “white” which is exactly what i had imagined. only thing is i had been wrong. what surprised me about the video was that it looked like a so-called african-american family [athough definitely a family of colour] and what surprised me was that in my head only a white family would be stupid enough to do something like that.

does that make me racist? it definitely would if it had gone the other way… but that made me think along with a lot of this Brett Murray ‘The Spear’ painting stuff that has been going on in South Africa and this amazing article which called a lot of it for what it was.

Four lines from that article carry the heart of where this whole racism-calling thing has gotten a little bit out of control:

I’m not shouting at you because you’re black, I’m shouting because you’re a maniac on the roads who is a danger to society.

I’m not complaining to your manager because you’re black. I’m complaining because you’re an incompetent moron who is incapable of doing her job properly.

I’m not firing you because you’re black. I’m firing you because you’re a thief.

I’m not confronting you because your black, I’m shouting at you because you’re a messy pig who expects other people to clean up your mess.

Each of those incidents [maniac on road, incompetent at job, thief, litterer] if they had occurred with someone of the same race calling out someone of the same race it would have been an incident of whatever is in brackets [parenthesis to the americanese] but because it was a white person calling a black person that [and i’m guessing vice versa] it suddenly becomes a race thing.

there is a lot more to say on this issue but hopefully this incident has at least got people thinking about it. are stereotypes racism or do they exist, much like cliches, because they are true a lot of the time? and while it is unfair to generalise with a stereotype or cliche and judge everyone as that thing, it is maybe not necessarily racist to be aware of or mention them.

i don’t think it was a big deal that i assumed the washing machine dad was white. i think it just was what it was. we could progress a lot further in this world, life, country if we started looking a lot more at what is as opposed to what could be suggested/read into/taken as…

your thoughts?

[late add: found out today that it was a babysitter and her boyfriend and not the kids parents who put the baby into the machine – story is here]

so i have been going to gym, with my good friend from across the street, Coe aka Cobra [aka creator of the most powerful beast in the world – the Snuck – it’s a snake, but it looks like a duck so you think it’s all cute and innocent and go to stroke it, but watch out, it’s a SNAKE!!!] [disclaimer: Coe has not actually created any Snucks as of yet so back of PETA, he has just visualised them, put down the placard and step slowly away from it] for close to two months now and we’ve been pretty good at going three to four times a week [which, with our crazy schedule is quite impressive and means on most days a 5am wake-up call, especially when i haven’t!]

and i don’t have access to a scale so i’m not sure how much good it has done – we go to Planet Fitness which is a No Judgement gym and so part of that is not having a scale [or wearing jeans while you work out apparently?] for some reason. i know Coe has lost weight cos he told me and i still feel as fat as when i started [not Fat Albert fat, but just more forward in the stomach department than i would optimally like to be] altho in a totally unrelated story none of my long pants fit without falling down all the time [my conspiracy theory is that my stomach stretched them out so that they are bigger than me as opposed to i lost any weight] so basically what i am trying to say is i should find a scale. but something is clearly happening and apparently the stomach holds on to fat the longest.

in other news, i am trying to gain weight, no wait, needing to gain weight… three different situations in my life at the moment call for me to be ‘the bigger man’ – two that directly relate to me and one that is within the community we live and move in and relates to friends of mine… and it strongly looks like if i don’t step up in any of those situations and say something, that no-one else will and they will simply be buried in the sand until such time as they get dragged out when the next thing happens…

to add to that, this is i feel the story of my life, a situation happening where someone has to intervene and a number of other people potentially being able to, but the reality of if i don’t do it, it really is unlikely to happen…

and kinda like going to the gym, i kinda know what i have/need to do, but i don’t really want to. and kinda like the gym it’s because i’m tired and it’s a mission and there will be some degree of feeling bad before any feeling good comes out of it. and kinda like the gym i feel like there is a certain cost i need to pay to go there…

but then an email sent in love from a friend kicks me in the butt and strongly-but-in-love reminds me that i have to go there… and then i read this passage which would be a lot more fun if it said “there remember that you’ve been a plonk and need to go sort it out,” but it doesn’t, instead it says:

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” [Matthew 5.23-24]

‘Your brother or sister has something against you’ can definitely be because you were a plonk. but it can also be that they were a plonk. either way, before you continue worshiping Me, says the Lord, go and sort out your crap.

‘If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.’ [Romans 12.18]

Words we like to ignore. Because it is far easier to walk away and give up on one friendship or relationship when we have so many others that require less work, effort, doscomfort, cost.

But, as with gym, this is meant to be a No Judgement zone.

and as with gym, you have made a commitment to something and if you don’t live that out, then you have wasted a lot of something.

and as with my scaleless gym it might take me a while to figure out exactly what difference is being made, and maybe none that i can see now [maybe none ever] but by doing the right thing and continuing to be the person to stand up and approach and seek peace and right relationship, i can be confident that some difference is happening.

as i read once and strongly believe, “Offence isn’t given, it’s taken.” and so if i am feeling offended or wronged or hard done by, by those around me, then i really need to start my journey at the mirror and then probably proceed to my knees or face, before standing up and being the bigger person and doing the right thing.

all of this has been well modelled by a man who did no harm to anyone and yet was betrayed and denied and spat upon and beaten and hung on a tree by the very people He came to Love and Teach and Heal and Raise from the dead and yet His response was not holding on to the offence caused and letting that become His identity, but rather the quite revolutionary opposite extreme:

‘Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”‘ [Luke 23.34a]

i guess if we say we’re following Jesus, then we should really… follow Jesus. yes?

[with special thankx to Gnomus Brooks, Saint Mandy, Rob and others for being the piercing light through the darkness i found myself in]

last nite i was sitting chatting to my friend and hardcore gym buddy Coe at Mad Mex where we were hanging out celebrating Erica whose residency has reached an end and i suddenly had this surreal moment of watching myself/listening to myself speak.

the main topic of our conversation started with ‘Hunger Games’ which we both had watched this week and had different reactions to or feelings about, but then extended to the topic of ‘movies i have walked out of’ vs ‘why i will never walk out of a movie’ and a few things beyond that.

we have quite dramatically different [some would say ‘opposing’] views on the topic of conversation and yet at no point did the discussion get heated or did i call him an idiot [or even secretly think it] – what i did say was that i held value in the fact that Coe had a different view on something to me based on thought that he had put into it as opposed to complete lack of thought and just going along with what a lot of other people do/think. And that for me was incredible. I didn’t need to have him ‘come over to my side’ or end the discussion agreeing with me [he didn’t, but i hope and believe he saw and understood my points and point of view and wasn’t secretly calling me ‘idiot’ inside his head altho knowing Coe as i do, he would have almost definitely not kept it inside his head if he had thort so] and yet it was refreshing to discuss and hear a radically different opinion and way of doing things and also be able to understand the merit of his point of view.

at one point i said a lot of this stuff to him and how ‘twenty-years-ago Brett’ or even maybe ‘ten-years-ago Brett’ would more than likely not have displayed the same kind of maturity in conversation or probly even in thort as ‘present-day Brett’ had going on. and it was a moment of hey-maybe-i-do-actually-grow-or-change-from-time-to-time… which was a good feeling to have.

the other thing which i said to Coe which i think is important is that those other two Brett’s were probably not that much different in passion or belief or understanding – the way i addressed things then, the conversations i had, the letters i wrote, were all done with the same or similar kind of motivation and belief, but probably, at times, with less good execution or action. so i hold my belief from the conversation i had with Coe very passionately and for me i still see it as the truth i currently hold to [or what i believe as best as i can to be truth] while at the same time am able to hold that in tension alongside seeing and understanding why Coe holds his belief very passionately as the truth he currently holds to. and the possibility that we could in some way both be right. or both be wrong. or maybe more likely both be partially right and partially wrong. who knows? the conversation was part of a wrestle for truth which more people could do more of. we settle too quickly for ‘i’m right, everyone who thinks differently is wrong’ and not enough of ‘how can i learn from what you think and experience and believe?’

great chat with a good friend and exciting to have that personal moment of watching and listening to myself and the process of the discussion and how it went down, and to smile quietly to myself…


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