There are people who love the gym and the people who don’t. I don’t. I use the gym to further my plans of world domination. Meaning, if you’re not planning on going to the Olympics, why go to the gym? Why bike if you aren’t headed for the Tour de France? Why run if you aren’t after the New York City Marathon?
“Well,” you say, “there’s also the issue of your basic health and fitness to be attended to.”
I see your point. I do. It’s just not my deal. The gym is super boring. Competition is where it’s at in sports for me. I tend to be a athletics bulimic: binge when there’s a goal, purge when there isn’t. Aim for everything or just skip it.
“But sports can be fun,” you persist.
I agree. Especially when you triumph.
I know. I hear you. This isn’t the healthy approach for body or mind. If the most adaptive of the species survive, I’m in trouble, ’cause my attitude hasn’t worked well for me. Or my knees. Or ribs. Or hips, neck or back. And I’m still not world champion of anything.
The last time I was in a binge phase, I was training 30-40 hours a week on the trapeze. It was awesome and nerve-wracking. I had bloody palms, huge shoulders and rope burns and bruises all over my limbs and joints. I’ve never been stronger or more tired. That career ended with some irresponsible spotting leading to a couple bad falls that led to a fractured rib and a dislocated one that will never heal.
That event was the equivalent of running my Ferrari into a brick wall: now I have to get a Volvo and drive the speed limit because I can’t survive another accident. Well, maybe not a Volvo: they’re nice and the little ten-year-old Bostonian Izod-lover in me has a soft spot for them. Let’s say I’ve been downgraded to one of those rolling bubbles at the gym so I don’t hurt myself again. Or more.
So you know what I do just to get back at the universe for not being able to obsessively overcompete? I don’t go to the gym at all. So there. I’m sure someone out there is learning a lesson… Right? RIGHT???
Lately however I’ve cracked. I’ve kind of started working out. Accidentally. And only kind of. Even though I don’t think I’m going to be the get a yellow jersey for it. It’s a big concession.
And it’s not really working out per se. It’s walking. But we live on the side of a giant San Francisco hill, so a straight sprint skyward with a baby and a stroller probably counts as a workout, especially since I haven’t gotten any organized exercise in a while.
And by “organized,” I mean, “doing repetitive things on machines where the weight stays in the same place unless you personally stop and move it.” What I have been doing is disorganized. It involves suddenly lifting or catching or pushing up a slide an ever-growing weight (OK, “child”) which is usually in motion itself and whose bulk usually falls on my muscles at an uncomfortable angle that is not ergonomically healthy, tested or approved by the National Council on Fitness, a very thin blonde celebrity or a inhumanly fit former monk/kickboxer.
I’ve taken on the vertical walk in the mornings because there is an odd hour between breakfast and naptime (our daughter’s, not mine – I’m not that much of a sloth) and there is espresso at the midpoint of the rainbow. It’s too early to be too hot to climb the hills, or for me to be awake and focused on anything including hating that hill or not being the Most Best Hill Climber Ever. The need for coffee carries me upward.
But do you think they have that Best Hill Climber thing? ‘Cause if they do, I should definitely get on that. Or maybe Most Moderate Worker Outer? No. That’s not a thing.
I do have a yellow sweatshirt around here somewhere. Maybe I’ll start wearing that to make myself feel more competitive.