Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Altruism and Vanity

This weekend’s It Gets Better Project video-making marathon is full … less than 24 hours after I sent the first invitation looking for volunteers to share their stories on camera. All 24 taping slots were grabbed up in rapid succession on Tuesday … thanks in part to the free plugs we got on Joe.My.God and AfterElton and The Best of Gay Chicago and Chicagoist. And at this writing I have a growing waiting list of 17 people who still want to be a part of it.

I’m sorry I can’t accommodate everyone, but we’re staffing the entire day with volunteers and filming people in a donated room and I think a six-hour marathon of taping is more than we can fairly ask of anyone. But what an awesome problem to have.

And we’re already toying with the idea of setting up a second video-making marathon … after the real Chicago Marathon is over in two weeks. And after the damn bathroom renovation is behind me.


I emailed our video marathon idea to Dan Savage, and he’s actually coming up to help out! So all our fabulous volunteers will get to meet him when they tell their stories … and together we’ll take another step forward helping bullied gay kids across the world understand that if they can just survive the homophobic abuse they’re currently trapped in, their lives can indeed get better.

My trainer is still beating the crap out of me three days a week in my increasingly transparent efforts to stay physically relevant in today’s youth-obsessed culture.

He’s also been faithfully updating his training blog, which often features brutal workouts he’s guinea-pigged on me the day before.

And now he’s made some videos demonstrating the no-excuses form he demands from me even when I’m exhausted to the point of sobbing into my lace workout ascot and peeing (accidentally!) into my cool new hybrid workout/work shoes. Even though I’m the one paying him. Man, what a sweet gig this guy has going.

Anyway, here he is demonstrating the rotator cuff exercises he makes me do more often than Sarah Palin spells a word correctly since I’m getting old and my rotator cuffs are so weak that they’re starting to undermine my form on my arm and chest workouts and they make my shoulders burn even when they shouldn’t be burning because I have weak rotator cuffs and oh my gosh I am trying really really hard not to call them masturbator cuffs here even though that would be funny, at least to an 11-year-old boy. But where was I? Oh yeah: My trainer has arms that look like Volkswagons:

You can see more of the muscle cars he stores in his garage in his growing library of training videos.

And to create a handy link between the two halves of this blog post—something the 1980s business world called synergy—his training videos were filmed by my super-awesome friend Michael, who is also going to be the videographer for this weekend’s six-hour It Gets Better Project video-making marathon. And what is a gay blog post without a super-awesome motif?

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