Feel the Burn


Work is bad for you. It's science.

I'm on a rather eccentric work schedule these days, as far as my day job goes. It has to do with splitting the job with another capable worker who was training for the position in the hopes that I would suddenly become rich and famous and not need a day job (which by the way, for those of you keeping score at home, hasn't happened yet). This arrangement means I work an average of 20 hours a week, or two-and-a-half days. So I work the first part, she the second, or vice versa. It's been strange. Good, because it's the holidays, and I have a lot to occupy me in my off hours. Bad, because I'm making about half as much money as I'm accustomed to when I'm city-side . . . and I wasn't exactly living large prior to these circumstances.

But here's another good thing: I can make more time for exercise.

And here's another bad thing: When I can't make time--i.e., work days--I am acutely aware of it.

Ooo, but do I know it. When I first started working here the job was much, much easier. I knew less about the work, had less responsibility and my boss was quite frankly coasting a bit on good fortune. Plus, Friend Melissa referred me to the job in the first place, and was around to cavort with. We never did anything unconditionally crazy, but she worked in a tiny office and I in a cubicle, which presented us with marvelous staging opportunities for what Friend Heather refers to as "archway humor."

"Archway humor" is that which is generated by the story one doesn't see. Rather, one sees the effects of incidences that occur "offstage." Your imagination makes up the rest. Melissa and I being both of the circus persuasion (particularly at that time, when we were both rehearsing with Kirkos or Cirque Boom), our archway humor consisted mainly of highly physical choices that exploited her doorway and my puppet-stage-like, low cubicle wall. I'm afraid Melissa engaged me much more than I her; I was still fresh to my job, you see. Every so often, for no particular reason, Mel would walk up to my cube, look me in the eye, and wordlessly execute a cartwheel. The effect was something like, "Hi Melissa. What do you want? Oo, nice sneakers!" When her head resurfaced, she invariably gave me a look that seemed to say, "What on earth just happened to me?" The effect on my mood was stunning.

Melissa don't work here no more, having moved on to greener pastures in The Garden State. It's difficult to say whether it is her leaving, getting ever-so-older (oh, the lessons we learn about the difference between "discomfort" and "pain") or the building stress of my work, but whatever the cause I find myself frequently passing the whole day without considering crouching in my chair, cartwheeling in the hall or doing push-ups against the copier machine. And I used to make a point of that. In a day in which I'm working at the office and going to rehearsal at night, I just fail to squeeze in a good work-out at home. Sometimes I fantasize about working as, of all things, a bike messenger, just to feel a pleasant ache of hard-won work at the end of the day. If it weren't already such a perilous job, just ask some people who know me well what a bad idea this would be. Plus, I'd probably be so ineffective. I would obey traffic laws, use hand signals and spend too much time poking around the offices I delivered to.

So here I am, venting my aerobic angst on the 'blog instead. The irony is, when I'm not working, I worry about how much money I'll make that week. Henceforth, these days shall be known as my "burn days." Feeling the burn of that last set of push-ups, feeling the burn of having to save up for coffee cash. The burn days are good motivation for getting something new doin' with my theatre career. That's the only place I've ever been paid for handstands.

Officially, at any rate.
 
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