Monday, April 30, 2012

Gettin' Some-Why I Hate the Gym and Crave Adventure

Something funny has begun to happen to me.

I've never been the most physical of people.  I don't enjoy being out of breath and in pain, and I hate the gym with a passion.  When I go inside, I feel a part of me dying.  It's socially acceptable, institutionalized self-torture!  Like the terrible Greek myth of Sisyphus who is doomed to push a boulder up a hill over and over only to have it roll back down, people run and run and arrive at precisely nowhere, climb stairs that will never, ever end in a rooftop view, and endlessly push their arms and legs against a contraption that is not pumping a well or moving a stack of wood or doing anything at all.

And let's not even talk about the music.  Gym music makes me suicidal.  I know...listening to Nick Drake croon, "pink, pink, pink, pink moon" doesn't make you want to jump around.

I understand that people do it for their body, their health, and that it inexplicably makes them feel good after.  But you know me-I need meaning in everything.  If you want to move your arms, lift roofing materials onto your old neighbor's roof.  If you want to do squats, go help harvest lettuce at the local organic coop.  This is how I feel about exercise; it's great if it's a by-product of actually doing something.  

Super unpopular I know, as my views tend to be.

Well, I don't really know where this is coming from, but lately my desire to push myself mentally and physically has grown.  Quite a bit, actually.

Maybe it's rebellion against the idea of what a mom "should" be like.  Maybe I feel defiant about my age and the complacency that has crept in and made itself comfortable in my life.  I'm tired.  I don't want to be wet or dirty or uncomfortable.  I'm becoming less flexible, less tolerant, and I hate that.

I don't want to grow soft.  I don't want to "go gently into that good night".  I want to rage, rage, and maybe surf or skate into the dying of the light.

So I've been thinking; why don't I bomb hills with my kids?  Aside from a lot of skin surface and my front teeth, what do I have to lose?  Who said I can't?  And if not now, then when?

Suddenly I want to dangle from cliff faces, hike the entire Camino de Santiago de Compostela, jump out of moving things, and plow through heavy surf.  I want to feel the very edges of my physical and mental boundaries...I want to know their contours and textures intimately.

At dinner with friends the other night, I articulated this out loud for the first time and my best friend asked, "Why do you think you feel like that?"

"I don't know," I said,  "I just want to live.  Until there is no life left in me, I want to feel and I want to live."

Anyone else up for some adventure?



  1. I love the new attitude!! Mud, snow, surf, hanging by my finger tips...count me in!!

  2. We are the same way. Why go to the gym when you can chop wood? I must supplement my woodswoman's work with yoga and hiking though.

  3. I want to jump out of a plane...

    Last year I took a trapeze class. It was terrifying and my arms/shoulders ached for a week afterward, and to be honest I never have to do it again, but I'm so glad I went.
    Do it. Do crazy things! ADVENTURE! WEEEEEEEEEE!!!

  4. I like you.
    That is all.
    Never expect this type of honesty again.

    1. Pardon me while I go die now...
      And p.s., what took you SO DANG LONG?!

  5. I was feeling similar 'till I took the kids to the skate park hopped on the board then promptly flew through the air (not doing a trick) went home with way less self asteem, lots more bruises...and a desire to return to walking/hiking for exercise.

    1. so, i'm going to begin this adventure under cover of darkness on a sidewalk lined with mattresses....

  6. I'm absolutely with you on finding some good adventures! That's how being physical should be. It should be something you love and do naturally, not forced. Sadly, most of us are stuck at desk jobs in front of computers all day and we have to add exercise artificially. I'm trying to take walks more. And I actually do go to the gym in the mornings as well -- I've found motivating myself with a good book to read while I'm on the elliptical actually makes it kind of fun for me (and it keeps me off the streets at 5am, when it's still a little too dark and quiet for me to be walking alone).

    1. Brandi, you should know that I created a metaphysical argument against the gym in order to justify not going! Pay me no mind...go to the gym and live way longer than me and have nicer glutes! Next I'll have to draft a long-winded post about body image to justify my flab!

  7. sign me up!!!
    i need some adventure!!!!


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