Sperm Hand

I'm in Calgary for the next little while working on a show called "Munich Now" for One Yellow Rabbit (www.oyr.org) at the ever-amazing High Performance Rodeo. The "Rodeo" is arguably the most lauded and exciting international performing arts festivals in Canada. This is my fifth festival in six years, one year because of boring bureaucratic issues, and all with One Yellow Rabbit.

Promo aside I am here for a few weeks and in the past when I've been in Calgary I have worked out at World Health Club. Due to some drama within the organization my Edmonton membership doesn't work in Calgary anymore, I was left a bit far afield when it came to exercising and the training plan I was on!

10k, motherfuckers!

But you wanna know where "Sperm Hand" fits into all this and you're sitting there reading this and thinking... "BORING! BRING ON SPERM HANDS!"

I'm getting there. I swear.

As you also may or may not know it's January and many many humans have embarked on resolutions to "get fit!" and "lose weight!" and whatever else. Personally, I'm not a big resolutionist and try to avoid sweeping statements and promises I am sure to fail at! The perks of resolutions is that MANY fitness and wellness options are on sale! Since I can't hit up my usual gym and it's VERY difficult to join a gym for a single month without paying in blood and gold I decided that January would be a yoga month. I found a great studio with a great schedule and signed up.

Now we're getting to Sperm Hand.

As you begin to spend more and more time at place you start to recognize the regulars. I've been at yoga 4-5 days/week and have begun to see patterns of people; create memories of their austentatious mats; and observe the apparent religiosity some people feel toward lulu lemon.

One such of these is a stunning middle-aged women. She has a beautiful, strong and balanced practice and can stand on her head like a champ. Basically, a yoga hero. She also has this beautiful mat with what look like hand drawn flowers on it.

The problem? This goddess has no ability to control the volume of her voice. At all. She is loud enough to the point that I sort of hate being in class with her.

I get there early, choose my spot as enjoy the 10-15 minutes before class trying to put aside whatever bullshit I'm obsessing about and just be present. If I can't do this I'm almost assured to be a fallen warrior. Get it? I fall over in warrior postures...

So, a couple of days ago this woman plants her may in the row in front of me and one mat length to the left. Just before she settles into her pre-practice posture she says, in her abrasively loud voice,


"pardon" I whisper.


"it's a balloon; not a sperm. it looks like a balloon."


"it really isn't..."

I'm still trying to whisper but I'm annoyed and so are the people around me. It's a very serious studio full of people who take their practice very seriously. The lithe yogini beside me looks ready to to breathe fiery lion's breath all over this woman...

While I'm siting there trying to speak quietly to her she has gotten up from her mat and come over to me. I look up and she grabs my hand...


"it is a balloon."


I don't respond.


Everyone? Really? I would love to see the data that proves that EVERYONE ever thinks my cute little balloon is sperm.

And back she goes to her mat and lays down happy in her certainty that the balloon tattooed on my hand is, in fact, sperm. It's isn't.

I sigh, and try to relax again. I look over at the my yogini neighbour and nod an apology. She smiles and whispers, "I like the balloon".

Needless to say I spent the majority of that 75 minutes barely holding onto my balance and fantasing about pummeling her with a yoga block. Are those blocks like bags of oranges? Would they leave no marks while causing massive internal injuries? Hmm...

Ok. Not really. Killing people is stupid. Killing stupid people feels even more stupid.

And, I actually feel pretty ok with sperm, just not tattooed on my hand and not screamed about at me in yoga studio.

So, sperm?