Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Living Life in the Background - Volume 1

I wonder often what I am thinking when I start on an adventure to do something nice for someone. I think I am a bit of an enlightened person, albeit not enlightened enough to vote for Democrats or anything like that, but I like to find myself beyond the bullshit theories of tolerance and more into the zone of acceptance. Keeping in mind that I hit the gym everyday because it is one of the few things in this world that makes me feel good about myself it is still a very fragile system of attaboys that rarely get fulfilled in my life. Sure I look great especially for a forty year old man {and despite the gray hair and wrinkles, but the alternative to getting old really sucks} and I have many karma points going for me, there is always an aweshit around the corner waiting to take all of my stored attaboys. Today was one of those days, and I feel horrible about what happened, and I shouldn't.

Needless to say it is my off day {Wednesdays I don't lift weights, thus an “off day”} but I still go into the gym so that I can help out my friend in the wheelchair {Multiple Sclerosis} which is my karma cross that I carry. This is NOT an easy endeavor when you are working out with someone in a wheelchair because quite frankly, on most days you are the only person in the gym building good karma and the rest of the people are in there to test the boundaries of life expectancy. Usually when I leave what I am doing to go help him, there is always someone ready to jump onto whatever machine or weight I was using and are not going to let me work back in. I got over this a while ago and chalked it up to “people are assholes” and got on with my life. It's unfortunately turned my hour long workouts into two hour workouts, but I don't have much of an active social life anyway. Today that shouldn't have been a problem as I wasn't using any weights. It gives me a chance to check out the girls between his sets, and that's a cool thing.

Unfortunately today was a new level of problems which completely took me by surprise and tested my very boundaries of sanity, and more over tested my temper which is not good in a testosterone filled environment. I blame my own selfishness too, so don't get me wrong on that, but there was another person in the gym today that was all gung ho to help out, and yes the selfish side of me that hasn't realistically had a peaceful workout in forever was really happy about this. Especially keeping in mind that I have a bad spine, and Shane {a great guy and all} is starting to get more demanding in asking for assistance into various machines as opposed to just doing exercised from within his wheelchair. He also weighs about 250 lbs, all dead weight, and I have had to basically tell him {to a heavy hit on my conscience last week} that I am not comfortable with the burden it puts on my own health lifting him in and out of equipment. Enter my thoughts that this new guy would probably help not only my back but my conscience here.

I should have seen it coming too, because this person was so desperate to help out that not only would he be fool hearty, but possibly a bit mentally unstable and I am starting to think it was a LOT of both, but the second I turned my back on the two of them he had taken Shane off to the quadriceps machine and was helping him into it. Very poorly at that, and by the time I had rushed across the gym {from talking to one of the women there I actually get along with, I should have known} Shane was crumpled up on the floor crying, and refusing to get out of the fetal position or let anyone touch him. This idiot that was all gung ho to help him out was completely in the way and of no help getting him back into his chair {and his attitude at this point was that Shane had to help himself} and to make a long story short, Shane totally gave up and offered no help of his own as I lugged him from flat on the floor into his wheelchair. The only thing I can actually say is that somehow I didn't hurt my back which is an absolute miracle, but I did have to spend a half hour in the locker room with him crying, and telling the idiot to back off and get away.

I felt completely horrible about all of this and find myself in a position of actually being a bit angry too. I had told Shane that he HAS TO tell people to back off, and he basically told me that he can't do that. I {very patiently thank you very much} explained to him that I can't protect him from idiots and when he is being pushed out of his zone of comfort he has to say something, period! He assured me that he never would do that, and I could feel myself nearing rage. I firmly, but patiently explained to him that if he ever ends up on the floor like that again because he won't say no to someone or tell someone to back off then I am going to leave him there. Before you go there, yes it KILLED me to have to say this to him, but I don't deserve to be in a wheelchair next to him because of my own good deeds either, and even as I type this I feel like a heel. This is the problem with the whole “guilt culture” that I have grown up in, but I also have had the ability to rationalize risk/reward scenarios over the years as I have tried to overcome the “mentally beaten down syndrome” that my family has placed on me.

They say that after 2000 attaboys you get a pat on the back, but every aweshit completely wipes out all attaboys. You will probably never get that pat on the back and if you are living your life to get it, then you might as well just become one of those people that jumps in on the weight machines and won't share them when you walk off to help someone. That's how you will be looked at anyway at the very first aweshit, only you will be a hell of a lot more bitter thinking about all those attaboys you lost between aweshits. ;8o)