Monday, March 21, 2016

#416 Everybody's Working For The Weekend

I have become increasingly annoyed with small talk at the office.  It’s not so much when people talk about the weather (it’s either too hot or too cold – it’s Indiana!  Get used to it!) or last night’s game or television show.  That’s fine with me.  What really annoys me is when people complain about it being Monday, that we’re “almost there” when it’s Wednesday or are super excited that it’s Friday. 

I agree that Monday is probably my least favorite day of the week, just because I have to go back to work.  For the record, I really do like my job.  But it’s not Monday’s fault.  It didn’t choose to be the first workday. 

What can I say about Friday?  People are more relaxed.  Sometimes you get to leave early.  We can wear jeans at work now.  Friday has it easy!  Yesss! It’s Friday! 

What I don’t agree with is wishing your week away.  There are some really good things that happen each week.  I play tennis one day a week and love that day because of it.  I also happen to sometimes look forward to Monday nights because that’s when The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette or even Bachelor In Paradise) airs. 

Time passes fast enough as it is.  I don’t want to wish my Mondays through Thursdays away and just live/work for the weekend.  I want to savor each day for what it is – a gift from God.  This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!  (Psalm 118:24)  No matter what day it is!  

Monday, March 14, 2016

#415 Ask And You Will Receive

Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” in John 16:24

A couple weeks ago I went to lunch with some co-workers at Siam Square.  (Check it out if you like Thai food.)  We sat upstairs and chatted after placing our orders.  Nancy, one of the ladies at our table, said, “I thought I saw our waitress come in with our drinks.”  Seeing as we had no drinks, the waitress had not.  After a minute, the waitress did indeed walk through the door with our drinks.  I told Nancy, “You can see the future!” and we all laughed.  I then told her to imagine a tall and handsome man walking through the door. 

Midway through our meal I looked up to see a tall man walk through the doorway (6’3”), followed by a taller man (6’5”)!  I looked at Nancy and said, “Nancy!  You did it!”  Of course, both men were married.  Even if they weren’t, I don’t know that I would have walked over there and told them my friend had predicted they would walk in the room.  We did get another big laugh out of it though. 

This story reminds me that I need to be more specific when I ask for things.  A tall man did walk through the door, but I didn’t actually request that he be single.  It also reminds me of a similar situation that happened to me in 1997.  I was playing in the American Basketball League in Seattle and was going into my second season.  I drove to Seattle so I would have my car, so I had a lot of time to think on the three-day drive.  I was 28 and still single.  I thought about how I had usually prayed to meet the right guy.  I would ask that he be at least 6’4” (my minimum) and he didn’t have to be really attractive, just attractive to me, and so on.  It dawned on me that I wasn’t putting my full trust in God.  I wasn’t asking him for His best for me.  I needed to start asking for the best because I deserved His best.  Right then I prayed to meet a guy who was 6’10” and really attractive and nice.  And a Christian, of course.  Then I forgot about my prayer. 

Pre-season began and we were working hard at Sound Mind And Body (now closed!) in Fremont.  Our trainer, Peter Shmock, told me he wanted me to meet someone.  He was working with a men’s basketball player, Bryan, from the University of Puget Sound who was recovering from planter fasciitis surgery.  Peter wanted me to work on post moves anyway, and thought it would be a good idea to have Bryan, who was 6’10”, and me work out together.  I agreed to meet him, but to myself thought, “He’s going to be a big nerd.” 

Bryan was actually working out in the gym the day Peter mentioned him and I was upstairs near the window that looked down on the basketball court.  I snuck a peek at him and was pleasantly surprised that he was really cute.  Definitely not nerdy looking.  After we were both finished working out, Peter introduced us.  Oh.  My.  Not only was he very attractive and tall, he was one of the nicest guys I’d ever met.  A few days after our initial meeting it hit me – I had prayed for him!  I asked specifically for 6’10”, really cute, really nice, Christian (Puget Sound was founded as a Methodist University but I don’t know his religious beliefs).  And there he was! 

Bryan and I met up a few times to work on post moves – for him to help ease him back into playing with his sore foot.  For me, to help me play against someone taller and stronger (he took it easy on me – there is no way I could push a 200 lb + guy around).  He was a redshirt senior and Peter told me he was 22.  Regardless, I was way older than him.  He also lived in Tacoma.  I still had a crush on him. 

Peter came up with a contest for Bryan and me to see who could gain the highest percent body weight by November.  We started in late August.  I weighed in at 165 and Bryan at 235 ½.  I started taking creatine and drinking protein shakes twice a day.  I have never felt so bloated in my life.  Creatine is supposed to help you make more muscle and also to recover faster after competition.  I didn’t feel a big difference in my recovery but it did help me gain weight.  I was also lifting heavily during the preseason so I may had added extra muscle but I think most of the extra weight was water, as creatine also makes you retain water.  Regardless, I proceeded to top out at 174 lbs and win the contest. 

My college playing weight was 165 lbs and I would always lose 5 lbs in the offseason.  For me to go over 170 lbs was a big deal.  I was used to people telling me how skinny I was and now people were telling me I looked lean and strong.  I took creatine for the remainder of the season and never took it again.  I later read about harmful side effects from taking creatine and felt stupid for taking something without researching it first.  I had asked Peter if it was safe and trusted him that it was.  He was a former Olympic athlete and had worked with several professional sports organizations so I didn’t feel like I needed to worry.  I don’t believe I had any negative effects and know that Peter would never tell anyone to take something he felt was unsafe.  I do believe that we should all do our homework before ingesting anything and think about any repercussions down the road. 

So I won the contest and the loser had to treat the winner to drinks and appetizers.  Peter went too and we all had a good time.  There were times when I wondered if Bryan was interested, but nothing ever came of it and that was it. 

When I prayed, I prayed to meet a tall, handsome guy.  I didn’t specify that I wanted to date him.  Picky, picky.  So, the next time you ask for something, be very specific.  I should have learned my lesson the first time!