Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And the winner is....!!!!!

Warning: this post is not funny. Feel free to skip if you're here for a laugh.

You know in the movies how there's sometimes a moment of silence right before something epic happens? Like right before somebody inflicts the final blow in a fight, or right before the three-pointer is shot two seconds before the end of a basketball game?

I totally had one of those moments the other night during the awards ceremony for the Biggest Gainer contest I was in. It was unbelievable.

Wife and I went to the meeting feeling pretty awesome. I had gained almost 15bs of lean muscle mass, and she had lost about 15lbs. We were excited to go and revel in our personal victories.

My trainer had specifically asked me to write and present a testimonial during the meeting all about how I was freaked out to try gaining, but trusted him and did it, and then found success. Boy was it moving! By the end of my speech, I flexed my now-much-larger bicep, and the entire room erupted in applause. In fact, the whole testimonial thing was a contest--whoever wrote the most moving testimonial and then got the most applause won the little mini-contest. Well, one of the testimonials was this lady who talked about how the Biggest Loser program literally saved her life. The minute she opened with "when I was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago," I knew I wasn't going to win that one, but it was all right--my testimonial was powerful enough that I took third place. It was awesome! I had an entire room full of people cheering me on. They seemed genuinely excited for me as I flexed for them.

The excitement just kept going. My trainer was pumped. He's new to the gym, and so my obvious success (I was WAY ahead of the next guy) was really good for him. He had invited his mom and step-dad to see me, and when he was telling the really obnoxious announcer and owner of the gym franchise the results of my weigh-in, he was literally shaking with nerves. And then they announced my weight. It was an amazing moment to, once again, have the room cheer for me. For the first time in my life, I had an audience cheering for me for an athletic performance.

And then, a few minutes later, after everyone else had weighed in and the night was winding to a close, the moment had finally arrived. They were announcing the winners of the contests. My category was first up. They got the $250 check ready, the obnoxious announcer got up, and I had that thing happen. That movie thing where all the work I had done flashed before my eyes, and I saw myself getting up at 6:00 in the morning and busting my butt and training hard--all the workouts and all the really sore days. I felt extremely proud of myself, and I felt like I had finally triumphed in an area that had eluded me most of my life. I was finally going to be celebrated as the winner, not of some writing contest or music thing, but of a contest of strength. A contest of physical triumph. This moment was truly significant for me. Though the room was abuzz, everything went silent right before the name was read.

Announcer: And the winner of the $250 for biggest gainer, 2011 IS......

Kyle Anderson!!!!! Trained by Jason!!!!

The entire room kind of looked back at me, sitting on the back row in confusion, and I could do nothing but shrug. I'm sure it was clear that I was pretty upset. I looked over at my trainer who was pissed. There was a mistake. I knew it. Brandon, my trainer knew it. The kid they had named had gained significantly less weight than me, and hadn't even stayed. They kept calling his name, and nobody appeared. And I sat wondering what the crap had just happened replaying that moment over and over thinking "Did that actually just happen?"

They just plowed forward. They awarded the other awards as Brandon ran back to have them check the numbers again. And then the meeting ended. After most people had gone home with the impression that I had lost the contest and exaggerated my claims in my testimonial, the trainer doing the calculations came up to me and handed me this:

This is the $250 check with my name written in Sharpie over the other guy's name. "Sorry man," the trainer said. "I accidentally calculated the numbers wrong."

Seriously? You didn't even check the numbers twice before announcing the winner of a 90 day fitness competition to a huge room full of people? You didn't think the numbers were strange when last week I was ahead nearly double the next guy below me?

It turns out I was really bummed all night long and into the next day. I would never have thought that would be my reaction to something like this, but it appears out that while the money was nice, what I was really seeking was the moment of triumph where the movie ends with the crowd cheering and victor picking up the $250 check with his own name on it, feeling like he was getting payoff for his hard, hard work.

I have no idea how to end this. Because it sounds like I'm all sad, but I'm actually not because this was a couple of weeks ago. Also, this post was totally not funny, but I thought after talking about the contest a few times I ought to let you all know what happened.


  1. Congratulations on your win and you are not the first person to have that happen to. On Australia's next top model, last year, on live tv, the wrong winner was announced and then they corrected themselves and announced the correct winner. Huge embarrassment all round

    Any chance of a pic of your awesome biceps? I may have a thing for nice shoulders and sexy arms......

  2. Congratulations! If it will make you feel better about the whole thing, I'll take the check.

  3. Josh, that totally sucks!!! I think you did awesome! Congratulations on you success and your personal win. I wish everyone that night would have been able to celebrate with you! You should post a picture of your new you!

  4. 'dem bastages! You should sue for defamation and pain and suffering. I'm sure you could squeeze another $50 out of them, easy.

    PS Oh yeah. And Congratulations for kicking ass and marking out names!

    PPS or is it PSS i can never remember. Either way it makes me giggle. Missed your posts,even if they're not funny. ;)

  5. Congratulations! Did they actually let you cash that check? Because it seems to me that a bank should deny a check that has two different names written on it. Weird.

    But congratulations. You're totally buff now. :)

  6. I am very proud of you! Do not let it get you down. Trust me, one of the best survival tips I can give you is to get used to nobody double checking figure, researching where they came from, or even realizing why these things should be done.
    I blame public school, but you can blame whoever you want.
    No one will check that either.
    Have fun. You could totally lambast him on your blog, you know. But you haven't yet, proving that you are a good person.
    No judgement if you decide to tomorrow, either. I am crazy about your blog.

  7. Bravo! Hip Hip Hooray! Good on you! Fabulous! Terrific! FAN-TAB-ULOUS.
    Hope that helps.

  8. :( on the let down of not getting the much desired moment of glory.

    :) to winning 250, even if in belated "sorry for the confusion" kinda way

    :) :) :) for doing something good for yourself, sticking to it, and making such awesome progress! You ROCK!!

  9. Sorry to hear about what happened at the awards ceremony. That really stinks. Congratulations on your win though.

  10. In a way it is kinda funny, the sharpied over name and all. haha Sorry!
    On the bright side just think if that guy had shown up he would've walked away with your check, and your applause. The audience did look to you, suspecting that it was wrong, and you were the rightful winner. Try to block all that awkward part out, remember the applause you did get, cash your check, hold YOUR winnings, and make a better memory with it. :D Congrats on conquering a new feat!
    You're awesome!!


    Here's some applause from all of us out here in blogland, maybe you could do an Emmy award kinda ceremony video with it. haha

  12. @Mynx--WHOA. That's horrible. And WAY worse than this scenario. At least I know I'm not alone ;-)

    @Ben--As wonderful as that might make me feel, and as generous as your offer is, I actually already spent it. But, it's the thought that counts.

    @Taren--Aww, thanks! I really appreciate that! I just might post a pic. If I ever remember to do it ;-)

    @Sarah--I like the way you think! Maybe I should direct them to this blog post and they'll pay me to take it down ;-)

    @JJ--So, yeah. Bank didn't bat an eye. Hear that all you criminals out there? SHARPIE. That's all you need to cash a check that's made out to someone else.

    @momiss--Wow, thanks for those words. I really appreciate them! I don't think I'll go the lambasting route, but it's good to know you'd still accept me if I did, ha.

    @Arlene--That actually does help! Thanks a ton.

    @Melis--Why, thank you very much! *bows*


    @Hanah--I know! I thought the sharpie thing was pretty hilarious. In fact when I started this post I thought it would be a humor post, and then I got to the end and I was like "oh, whoops. This is dreary." *clicks publish* For better or worse, it's out in the world now ;-) Oh, and thanks!

    @Renee--I absolutely loved your applause! I know it's silly, but the response here has actually made me feel better about this. (And I hadn't even realized I was still hung up about it!)

  13. I completely get it. You worked very hard and the asshat who did the calculations wasn't competent enough to check??? They should have made a banner and posted it in the gym saying, "We made a mistake....congrats to Josh Weed..."

    Don't let that moron ruin how awesome you are!

  14. You did Awesome man I'm proud of you and I brag about you a little bit to my friends! congrats! Why a complement right????? .......... Ya maybe not. Either way it's true!

  15. Nice work! way to stick to it for so long!
    It is maybe a little bit funny that they used sharpie tho... I work in banking, and we would get a kick out of that and possibly reject it :)

  16. congrats on your win even if it was done after the fact. keep the great work going.

  17. As a former meat-head converted into nerd, meat-head plus math = fail.

  18. I have trouble figuring out how they made the mistake. I mean, you were in the top the whole time, right? I think someone couldn't use his entire brain cell or something.