I'm a sucker for free "event" t-shirts -the kind that you get for your participation in some sort of activity.
People talk of love languages, this is one of mine. If you want to make me feel really loved, give me a t-shirt that you somehow obtained without paying more then three dollars.
Last December, I was able to visit my darling Fan Base in Anchorage, Alaska for a 10 days. One of the main draws of Anchorage was the Skinny Raven's pull-up challenge.
It went something like this:
Chelsea: You think you can really do 7 pull-ups?
Me: Yeah. I'm sure you can too, you just haven't tried.
Chelsea: No. I know I can't. You're sure you can?
Me: I know I can do seven... maybe ten, but definitely not more than that. They only asked for seven, right?
Chelsea: Yeah. Guys had to do seventeen, or something like that, and girls had to seven.
Me: Yeah, I can totally do that many.
We finally worked out a time when Chelsea and I could go down-town for a bit, shop around, complete the pull-up challenge, and get the long sought after FREE Skinny Raven t-shirt.
We walk in; I look around, trying to pretend interest in random articles of clothing; my fingers tracing the fabric on this jacket, commenting on these shoes, flipping over price tags, etc. My conversation with Chelsea is strained. Every muscle in my body is tense, like a fighter about to go in the ring. I couldn't wait to feel the cool fabric of my "tee".
We finally spot the chin-up bar. It's set in a doorway towards the back of the store. Chelsea and I look at each other.
Chelsea: You can do that many, Jocelyn?
Me: Yeah. (shrug) Its only seven. Not that many. I'm sure if I was more in shape I could do ten or twelve. But I haven't practiced at all... So who do you talk to about doing the chin-ups?
I find someone who is only semi-busy. I tell him I want to attempt the pull-up challenge. We walk over to the doorway with the bar overhead. It looms taller then it had when we first walked in. He brings me a chair. I climb up, grasp the bar. It's cold. And strong. I pull myself up, away from the chair. He pulls it away, so it won't impede my action. Everyone in the store stops shopping and gather their faces in my direction.
I'm like a fish on string. Only less tasty. I wiggle a bit and flop, but no matter how much distance I get between the floor and my feet, the bar doesn't get any closer to my chin.
Semi-busy guy: You want to try again?
I do. Several times. But the picture of the fish keeps returning.
Chelsea: I thought you said you could do pull-ups?
Me: Yeah. Me too.
Next time, Skinny Raven, I will get my t-shirt. I've been practicing my fishing skills.