Gabby Normal: Job description | Opinion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Gabby Normal: Job description

Columnist Gab Bonesso makes a case for her being a professional athlete.

click to enlarge Gab Bonesso
Gab Bonesso
I think I might be a professional athlete.

That statement might seem confusing. Up to this column, you’ve all been semi-wondering how this “Gabby Normal” character makes a living.

I’m a full-time artist. By day, I perform an original, anti-bullying assembly program at schools across the country. By night, I entertain adults with an absurdist brand of high-energy comedy. On special occasions, I am hired to speak publicly to adults about my experiences with mental health and the anti-bullying movement. Oh, and once a week, I write for this little ol’ alt weekly.

After reading that paragraph, you are surely convinced I am definitely not a professional athlete — rather a professional performer. That is technically true.

But what I would like to argue is that I am also a professional athlete, based on energy output and burned calories. Hear me out…

Dancers are often seen as both artists and athletes because the amount of energy used to perform a routine can equal that of exercise. Also, dance classes are being offered at gyms like LA Fitness and Curves — confirming that dance is a valid form of cardio exercise.

Now, I concede there aren’t any stand-up comedy/child-entertainer classes at LA Fitness. Well, not yet.

I exert an incredible amount of energy at gigs. In an average, 50-minute assembly program, I burn between 200-300 active calories (as reported by my Apple watch). When doing sets that last 30 minutes or longer, I burn more than 300 active calories. It’s hard not to notice that the busier I am with gigs, the more often my Apple watch is praising my “accomplishments” in “exercise”.

Here is a short list of rational and irrational reasons for me qualifying as a professional athlete:

• I wear tennis shoes to work, like a professional athlete.
• I sweat through my clothes, like a professional athlete.
• I drink close to a gallon of water and one Gatorade a day, like a professional athlete.
• I’ve been given trophies for my accomplishments, like a professional athlete.

Heck… There are even people in this world wearing shirts with my name and image on them, like a professional athlete. What more do you people need?

I mean, I don’t get endorsement deals, and I am always one late payment from losing electricity in my house. But yinz guys… I sweat at my job! I’m a professional athlete, dang it! Aren’t I?

Perhaps growing up in sports-obsessed Pittsburgh has me fixated on this title. I’m totally cool being seen as an artist, don’t get it twisted.

I’m just convinced the amount of energy that I put into a show is a form of cardio exercise. Therefore, if I get paid to perform said show, and using the substitution process learned in geometry class, then I am also a professional athlete.

Guys, it's math. Just ask Mr. Noll (he was my ninth-grade geometry teacher, and I’m pretty sure he’s on Facebook). Hut! Hut! Cream pie in the face!

Follow featured contributor Gab Bonesso on Twitter @gabbonesso.

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