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?