Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 7, 2010

I realize that I'm not the person to talk about working out. In fact, it makes me really self-conscious to discuss it but since I've been intentionally doing things that, ordinarily, I would fear or, ordinarily, would make me uncomfortable—I'm going to talk about it.

But first, a note on doing what you're afraid of:

Fear is debilitating and stupid and no one thinks you're any cooler for being scared. Admittedly, that doesn't make it easy to be fearless or anything. I'm just wondering, have you ever gushed to your friend about this boy or girl who is attractive and funny and confident and intelligent and oh so scared of stuff? I submit that you have never done that and I can't imagine that you ever would. Because I know you, personally, and I know that you are much cooler than that. There's something to be said for people who wholly feel and acknowledge themselves, even their uncomfortable parts—even their fear. But then there's something else about a person who can see that fear (or awkwardness or anger or whatever it is that keeps us on the couch) and can walk past it like an acquaintance in the doctor's office, with a nod and very little conversation.

So. Working out. I like it. It's one of those things that I never remember that I like until I'm just starting it--I feel the same way about showering. Ordinarily, it goes like this: my sister-in-law says, “Hey, do you want to go to the Y tomorrow?” And, honestly, I can't say no to that. I want to—don't get me wrong. I always think, please already have other plans... of course I don't have other plans. “Sure! I'd love to do that!”

I would most certainly not love to do that and I'm fairly confident that neither would Arryn. But we also would not love to develop heart disease or diabetes—mostly because we can not afford it and also because in this life we are given bodies only one time and it's best if our ankles can be contained inside of our socks.

But as soon as I get my shoes tied up, I get really excited and happy and ready to move. I get into the cardio room and I have three choices. In order of appearance starting at the back of the room and moving forward: there's the elliptical, the treadmill and the stationary bike. I like to go for the bike because it's at the front of the room and it takes me back to when I was in school and always took the desk in the front row because looking at other people intimidates me. I don't like to see the guy running 23 miles an hour—I don't need that. It's bad for my psyche and I end up walking to the lobby and reading People Magazine. So I take the bike, plug in my ancient iPod, close my eyes and let Kanye West speak truth to me as I get my heart rate going for the next 30 minutes.

I need you to hurry up now, 'cuz I can't wait much longer
I'm going, Kanye, I'm going as fast as I can.
Haters give me them salty looks, Lawry's
Yeah, tell me about it. Haters... Lawry's. I hate haters.
What do you think I rap for, to push a fuckin' Rav 4?
No you do not, Kanye West. You most certainly. Do. Not.
Go, heart rate, go!!

Getting your heart rate up is not about health—it's about a video game. When you ride these fancy computery bikes in the gym, they have these handlebars that you hold onto. The fancy handlebars tell you whether or not what you're doing is actually beneficial. I am into it for the most part. I get really into it. The little blinking light says, “You're warming up,” and I say, I'll show you 'warming up'. And then it says, "You've now entered into a cardio zone.” And I say,Yeah, I have! And then it says, “You're almost at your 'peak performance',” And I say, I have three minutes to get into 'Peak Performance' and I'm going to stay there. And I do and I reward myself by calming down. I spray my machine and then wipe off anything that I may have left behind and walk to the back of the class.

Then I change it over to a gentle crooning and go swimming on the elliptical. If you're not trying too hard, this machine can be the most delightful piece of equipment in your life. It's like frolicking through a meadow in a sun dress towards my lover as a douche advertisement plays in the background and the low morning sun beams between the tree leaves. Everyone else looks at me like I'm an idiot—wasting my time and really not aware of how to work out properly. They're probably not thinking that at all. I so rarely consider the other people in the gym that it makes sense that they're likely not considering me, either. So, I do that until the Zumba class is over and then Arryn and I go home talking about how good we feel—and we do.

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