Apologies in advance for any expletives, upset/angry about yet another mass shooting of children and the cowardly whores who infest our Congress (my cowardly whore is Marco Rubio, FL, $3.3M from the NRA). Who is yours? Actually, not fair to call these guys/gals whores, as I think there is more dignity in sex work, and sex workers don’t deserve to be lumped in with Congress. Too upset to speak to it rationally.

Anyway, switching gears.

Valentine’s Day

According to Wikipedia, Saint Valentine’s Day honors two early saints named Valentinus. Valentine’s Day has morphed into a celebration of romantic love. According to legend, during his imprisonment Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

Q: How do you know someone does CrossFit?
A: They tell you.

So, I do CrossFit. Working out for me, pre‑40, was so I could be more attractive and feel better about myself, as I suffer from body dysmorphic disorder. But that’s another post. Post‑40, I exercise to get my head right (antidepressant) and to cling to life — feel less old. There’s a decent amount of research indicating exercise is the only real youth serum. I’m usually the oldest guy in the class, by two decades, which should be cool. But it isn’t.

You see, they treat me like Mick Jagger — so old, they find me inspiring. I walk into the box, and the earnest comments begin (“It’s so great you’re here!”). Yeah, fuck you.

Often, the workout is a race against the clock, and I’ll be still working through my box jumps, burpees, and various forms of torture when others begin checking their phones and fist‑bumping one another, as they’ve already finished. Then something awful happens. They spot me (still) making the movements of a fish that’s been on a hard surface for too long, flopping every once in a while and gasping. They’ll surround me, no joke, start clapping, and say shit like … “You got this, Scott!” It’s awful, really … really awful.

Anyway, the coach at my NYC box (what X‑fit calls gyms for some reason) is a kid named Sean. He’s 23, looks 15, has black curly hair, wears neon red basketball shorts and a hoodie, and takes himself, and X‑fit, very seriously. A month ago I got to class 10 minutes late, and he told me in front of the class — of other twenty-somethings — “If you’re late next time, I’m not going to let you into class.” (Ironic.)

I was 20 minutes late yesteday for a live TV segment on CNBC (Squawk Box), and … they switched segments around. But not Sean, he’s had enough. Probably a good thing. I recognize I need to be reminded I’m not that important — it just happens too often.

Six Times

Ten minutes into class, we find ourselves on the floor stretching, and my mind begins to focus on the horror that awaits me in the remainder of the hour. Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, I went to the 7:30pm class, and five minutes into the stretching, the very serious Sean registered a distinct ringtone on his phone. An emergency? He retreated to the corner, near where I was stretching (i.e., lying on my back occasionally moving a limb to one side). Sean answered the phone:

“Hi, Grandpa, I’m at work, can I call you back?”

However, Grandpa was having none of it — ignored his request and kept Sean on the phone. Every 30 seconds over the next three minutes (I timed it, as I was bored — see above: stretching), Sean would respond with the same five words: “I love you too, Grandpa.” Six times.

I wondered what Grandpa was saying to Sean. Was he consoling him, as Sean didn’t have anybody to spend Valentine’s with? Maybe he was telling Sean about his grandma or mother, or maybe just using the holiday as an excuse to tell Sean, repeatedly, how wonderful he is. What was clear is that, six times, he told his grandson “I love you.”

Old people get up close and personal with death, as their friends and spouses begin departing, which heaps perspective on them. Marketers hate old people because of this perspective. They begin spending their time and money on things like healthcare, loved ones, and college funds for their grandkids instead of vintage sneakers, iPhones, and Keurig pods. In sum, they become fearful and remarkably less stupid … refusing to spend money on high-margin products that young people hope will make them feel more attractive or powerful.

We invest so much in our kids. Sitting on the sidelines, digesting our stomachs, as your 10-year-old goalie son reaches in vain for 11 shots that find the net behind him (last Saturday) and enduring the food at water parks (Saturday before that). The payoff? Several decades later, you can interrupt your kid’s kid at work, ignore their requests to call you back, and every 30 seconds tell them you love them, pause, and hear your grandson tell you he loves you too. Wash, rinse, repeat … six times.

I have a love/hate relationship with CrossFit. However, I’ve decided I like Sean.

Life is so rich,

No Mercy / No Malice in Your Inbox.

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