Thursday, September 30, 2004

man vs. machine

today i interacted with two craftsmen.

interaction numero UNO
i took my car into my autobody shop to get a minor thing taken care of this afternoon. unlike probably most people i have a great relationship with my autobody shop even to the extent they are listed in my cell phone directory. most people who live in urban settings should have good connections with an autobody shop...

jane, who's married to john the owner and i chatted while he replaced a back tail light. man, we covered diverse topics from christmas decorations being sold in september to how 9/11 changed her life. what a blessing she is to me, in the non-trite sense of the word. she said i must be pretty comfortable in my skin to be trying on things that i might knowingly fail at, to which i responded that i am trying to push my limits and learn how to live a more full life through "failures."

9/11 caused her to re-evaluate her life and see that she too could die at any moment. she saw for the first time that life is truly as a breath breathed into cold air which looks like smoke and evaporates just as quickly as it appeared. she's from australia originally and moved to the States when she was 17. in looking back on her life, she sees that that was a big deal, though at the time it didn't feel that way. we both have catholic school in common and talked about our experiences.

on my bumper are a few fresh scratches and i asked what it would cost to get some anti-rust sprayed over them. john smiled his toothy, warmhearted smile and said in a lilting tone, "oh, it won't rust. it's plastic."

some bumpers are made of plastic, others made of styrofoam... at times like these when you look at how cheap cars are in terms of light materials, it makes me miss my peugeot, sophie... but i digress.

john washed my car with good old soapy warm water because he saw it was dirty from tree sap and fog. he cleaned off the TREE SAP. i came in for a tail light exchange and left with a newly washed car. i love seeing people when no one else is watching- in his case i saw his inner light shine. he did this small act of love because he wanted to. and that's cool.

interaction numero DOS
when i left i went to the gym and worked out with tony, a personal trainer. this was my only free one-on-one session. talk about pressure for asking the right questions... we concentrated on weight machines because i know my body likes them and i'm trying to listen to it better. i made him laugh a lot because of my crazy facial expressions, out of which, of course i got a kick. we talked about isometric something-or-other, as well as letting me jump on the "rebounder" some sort of trampoline-like device created and perfected by NASA that lifts your red blood cells up.
i felt practically airborne back into my childhood and our backyard trampoline.

it was great to learn about getting the toxins out of your muscles through "roller massage" and talking about what foods are best consumed post-workout. this is such a different approach to eating. it's like our bodies are machines and need certain kinds of fuels at different times to work properly. so you can count on whey protein powder making it into my post-workout routine next week. tony and i wrapped it up and i could tell he'd had fun. how could he not, with me, rolling all over the place on the massage tubes!

jane and i talked about the tenacity of the human spirit, about people's wills to survive and their wills to die. i know everyone has a certain amount of days allotted to them, but i think it also comes down to mind over matter. if you firmly choose in your head to follow through with something, you can "beat" your body into submission. maybe that just never really clicked all the way before now.

jane said she used to be a nurse and she could tell which people had given up and how they would often die pretty quickly versus the people who were like, "i'm not going to die today. i'm going to do what i can to hang on. i'm going to fight" and these are the people that can hang on. i'm not saying that it only involves a person's will. we are not always our own masters. but me, i was born a fighter. my dad was a boxer. and i aspired to be Rocky Balboa at a young age.
so i will fight on and perhaps will next attempt the punching bag at the gym. grr.


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