Playing With Numbers

The picture at the top of the page was supposed to be a wolf because I wanted to make a point with it but the wolf I wanted to use ran away.

I chased after him and demanded he assume the position but he refused and when I offered to fight him he declined.

So instead of giving you some hokey line about what happens when you exile me and how I’ll come back leading the pack I give you something else.

It is up to you to determine whether there is meaning in these words or just fluff.

I used similar words with my children last night. It was in reference to the State Of The Union and the importance of critical thought about what our leaders say…regardless of party affiliation.

Playing With Numbers

I took a different approach at the gym tonight.

I went straight to the bench and instead of doing three sets of 7 reps in which I progressively increased the weight on the bar I did the reverse.

165, 160, 155.

By the time I dropped to 155 the bar felt ridiculously light so instead of doing 7 reps I pumped out 10.

My ego almost got in the way of it all because there was a time when I routinely worked out with another 100 pounds on the bar.

Ego wanted me to push harder and lift but experience won this particular battle.

I can still put up more weight than I did here. Can still work in a realm that doesn’t make me want to scream at how much I seem to have lost, but it didn’t make sense.

Didn’t make sense because I am not who I was then and my needs have changed.

These days the goal is to get back to being able to do three sets of 10 at 225.

Why 225?

Why not?

It is an arbitrary number I picked because it sounds good to me.

If I wanted to make a case for why it is significant I might tell you that getting back to that place is won’t happen overnight but is doable in a short enough time frame to keep me motivated.

But it is really me just playing with numbers and unlike the things our government says you don’t you need to say “so what” and or ask why that number is important.


When you ask me what prompted this discussion I’ll tell you it is the our current government, my desire to hold myself accountable and something else that I can’t write about.

But that something else makes me think of the government as I listen and am filled with unanswered questions.

Questions about whether the people who are feeding us these figures understand what they are talking about well enough to explain the significance.

When you tell me about record stock market gains and I ask you to explain what that means to someone with a limited investment and you say it is higher I respond with “so what?”

And when we continue I ask what happens if the money I have in the market can’t be pulled until I retire in 25 -30 years.

“Um, it is higher.”

“Yeah, it is, but it isn’t going to stay at record highs forever. What happens if I can’t sell now and try to take advantage of the gains?”

After the silence I ask them if I ought to try to get back to benching 300 pounds. It is a partial and simplistic measure of strength, but one that some men find appealing.

“Um, if you think that means something, I suppose you could.”

“It wouldn’t be a record gain for me unless I spin it as being pretty good for a guy who is at the tail end of forties


Maybe it would be better if I swapped the James Bond soundtrack with some Johnny Cash.

It might be better to use a few of his tunes as a reminder of what I have learned and where I have been.

If I were a painter you would see a painting or two here that would have great meaning and say a thing or two.

The same would be said if I were a musician and could post recording of me playing piano or guitar or better yet, a symphony I wrote myself.

But as of today I am not a painter nor a musician.

I am a guy with a keyboard and a relentless nature to question some things and chase others.

A man who took three separate deep breaths following some news because the initial reaction was to gleefully eviscerate another person with sharp words.

When the ignorant and willfully blind lie about you that is the sort of gut reaction you get, but experience is worth something.

The same experience that slows me down in the gym and says take your time to do it right is at play here too.

A double dose of shock and awe with a side of facts could go a long way but only if the people who need to hear it are prepared to listen.

So I instead of reacting I ignored it.

It is time to wait and see.

Time to use silence as a tool again and see if it provides opening and opportunity.

If things go as I hope there will be time to play with numbers and to ask for an explanation of why some numbers are significant.

To ask for proof of importance in a way that doesn’t compromise other things.

Sometimes you have to play the long game. Sometimes you refrain from doing certain things that will provide short term gain.

If you have to pick between 5 and 105 you might as well go for 105 because you’ll work equally hard for both.

Why not enjoy the fruits of your labor for longer.

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