So, like I said yesterday, Sugar and I went with another couple to eat at a nice restaurant on Valentine’s Day. It was a Brazilian steakhouse. They had a special for only $110.00 per couple. I made sure that I got my money’s worth. It is easy to get enough to eat because these servers called “gauchos” bring skewers of various meats to the table. They keep coming until a diner says “uncle” by turning over the wooden thing on the table from green to red, signifying stop.
While gorging ourselves, the subject of weight came up. Mark’s wife told us proudly that Mark had lost nearly 50 lbs. in two years. We asked how he did it. I asked just to be polite because, as those of you who are loyal readers already know, I am the perfect size for an NFL linebacker. Being the perfect size means that losing weight could jeopardize my NFL career, so I diligently work to keep my weight up.
Mark, on the other hand, was a high school wrestler, and had experience “making weight.” I helpfully told him that he should have just wrestled at whatever weight he was at the time. I told him about my cousin Bob, who used to be a wrestling coach and did not push his wrestlers to lose weight. I don’t know why that is so rare.
Anyway, Mark has not wrestled for a few decades, so his attempt to lose weight in recent years was for another reason. I suppose it was healthy. It might have been for vanity. I do not relate to either of those reasons to lose weight, but to be polite I listened to his explanation.
In a nutshell, he said he had read some article in a magazine that inspired him because it was not about dieting but, rather, what he took from it was “to be the best Mark that he could be.” He got the magazine in Boulder, Colorado, which means it is obviously some kind of liberal peace and love, I’m okay, you’re okay, I’d like to teach the world to sing publication. Personally, I look to Mike Ditka for advice on how to live.
Anyway, it worked for Mark to each day ask himself what he should do to be the best Mark he could be. Apparently, the best Mark he could be is lighter than the earlier version of Mark.
Sugar was impressed. She made some crack about my bum knees and how putting less weight on them would be a good idea. I listened attentively and ordered flaun covered with caramel for dessert.
Today she wondered if I got anything out of the inspirational message from Mark. I told her that I did indeed and I am being the best Mark that I can be. I decided that Mark won’t make it in the NFL unless he puts on about 50 lbs, so I am eating accordingly.
“But, Al,” Sugar said with frustration, “you missed the whole point. You are supposed to be the best Al that you can be, not the best Mark.”
“Oh, why didn’t he say so? Please pass the sugar, Sugar.”
“All my coaches, without exception, told me that I was already the best that I could be. I don’t really consider myself perfect, but apparently they all did.”
“They did not tell you that you are perfect.” Sugar was skeptical. Even negative.
“Well, maybe not using that word. How would the other, less talented, players feel, hearing that? They said, ‘Al, we are not seeing any improvement whatsoever!'”
Thanks, Coach. I know! It is just the way I am — can’t get any better!