Friday, February 13, 2009

The Why

Roughly a month after joining the Brooklyn YMCA I finally made it down there for my first of four free sessions with a trainer, O., a tall muscular black guy who was clearly wasted on me.

"First off, can you fill out this form?" he said, handing me a clipboard.

I got through providing my name, age, and address okay. (International money laundering scam alert!! Hopefully the YMCA keeps the documents in a vault.) Then I hit my first snag.

"Um, when it says 'Activities You Enjoy,' does it mean physical activities?"

"Yes," said O.

I crossed out "Reading, Writing," and left "Walking."

"Walking's good," he said encouragingly. That gave me the strength to continue. Twice the form provided me with the option of saying I was interested in weight loss; twice I refused to check the box. Take that, societal expectations of women!

The last section mandated that I list three obstacles to my success. I wrote down two and then paused. "Is 'inertia' the same thing as 'laziness'?" I asked.

O. shrugged. "One time I had a guy here who was like 300 pounds," he said. "And he wrote down, 'Too many women.'"

"That's good!" I said. "I'm totally going to steal that."

I signed the form, agreeing to commit to exercising 30 minutes 3 times a week, which is really something for me. I think exercise is like parenthood: something responsible people do, sure, mostly when forced, but which sensible folks avoid as long as possible. Of course I have friends who exercise; on this topic, just like parents, they become gushing Patty Hearst types. Perhaps I too will become an endorphin junkie, but I'm skeptical.


nathan said...

I'll try to keep this short and as non-Patty Hearst-like and non-weird-internet-stranger-like as possible, but really, it's kind of amazing what a simple morning run can do for the rest of your day and/or life. It's pretty dumb, actually, that so much stuff can improve because of something so basic and mechanical and routine. But yes yes, I'm sure you've heard all this before.

I will say: You live in Brooklyn. You're on the cusp of spring. Dear god, If I could run out and back across that bridge every morning? I just might die.

(But not before buying a bagel.)

ester said...

oh man, the words "simple morning run" give me chills. but i will strive to live and let live.

i have walked back and forth across that wonderful bridge, though, many times. it is really something.

nathan said...

East Coast runners are a little different, maybe. Perhaps this affects your feelings. Don't they yell things like "ON YOUR LEFT!!" and such? I'd want to trip them too.