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Hello, my name is Indigo Bunting, and I love the gym. Part III: Yes, It Is All About Me November 26, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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Sometimes love at first sight is the real thing.

Days that I plan to use the cardio equipment (elliptical cross trainers, treadmills, bikes), I try to time it to repeats of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. It makes me doubly happy to be exercising and getting my dose of maybe-these-guys-can-make-me-laugh-enough-about-the-state-of-the-world-that-I-won’t-kill-myself-for-another-day. A double whammy of antidepressant, with exercise being the essential one.

After the cardio, I head to the resistance machines. Oh, how I’ve missed them. You just can’t get that kind of resistance at home. I can’t move a lot of weight around, but it feels great to be getting stronger.

There is a machine there that can help you get into the most lovely stretching positions. It looks something like this:

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Many of us rave about this machine.

I do my crunches balanced on an exercise ball.

When I have the nerve and can justify an even earlier break from work, I’ll take a morning class. All the classes kick my ass and make me feel that I am a complete fitness fake. I hobble around for a day or two after.

And then there are the people. There are fit people, fat people, skinny people, tall people, short people, young people, old people. I love this. I love working out in a room full of people of all sorts of abilities and body types. I love being with people who are trying to take care of themselves. I love that this is not an S&M* gym.

Some of these people are not enjoying themselves. Maybe someday they will, but right now, at most they are enjoying trying to get fit with friends, which in itself is a happy thing.

Some people take the fellow-victim attitude when they talk with you: Well, we’re all in this together, aren’t we? None of us like it, but here we are. Usually, I don’t mention to these people that I do like it. I just let them bond the way they need to.

But some people, including a couple of my friends, love the gym. They love exercise for its own sake. When I run into them, we bond over the fact that we can’t believe this gym is here, that we can go to the gym, that please dear god let it last. It is our prayer. Our time in the gym is sacred time, like going to church or synagogue or meditation group. It’s this one thing we sneak out and do for ourselves as the work and deadlines press in from all sides. If we could stay at the gym all day, we would—or at least for a few hours. But we hurry responsibly back to work, where we learn to temporarily tune out the animal voice of our body, that excited jumping dog who desperately wants to know when we get to do that again.

*S&M: standing and modeling.

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Comments»

1. Cedar Waxwing - November 26, 2008

Cool for you, IB. I love the way you share your excitement in ways I can visualize (as in the jumping dog line). If anyone could be an inspiration to me to exercise, I’m sure it would be you.

2. indigobunting - November 26, 2008

I’d be happy to work out with you anytime!

Today it looks like I’ll be working out at home…my workout buddy did NOT call back about going to a 9:00 class, and now it looks like I wouldn’t make it in time…

3. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - November 26, 2008

I pray that someday I can become “jumping dog enthusiastic” about exercise.

4. bettyslocombe - November 26, 2008

Did I mention that Frannie has suddenly taken a keen interest in birdwatching and is declaring to one and all that she is a ‘twitcher’?

5. Helen - November 26, 2008

Wow, I think your endorphins spilleth over…

6. Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb - November 26, 2008

So glad you explained what an S&M gym is!

I think this gym thing is giving you a 24/7 endorphin high.

7. indigo bunting - November 26, 2008

Well, apparently that hasn’t been enough lately to keep my weight from going up. Winter, anyone? I can’t stop eating.

Betty: Oh, I envy Frannie. I didn’t really let the bug take hold til my 20s. She’ll have such an advantage! (And she alphabetizes books! And loves musicals! I think I adore her!)

8. Mali - November 26, 2008

The reason I love my gym is that it is not an S&M gym either. Started by my former trainer, it is filled with physiotherapists and injured people, old people, young people, fat people thin people, famous people and those rehabilitating who come along in their jeans. It’s small and friendly and they have the BBC and low lighting and don’t have the music loud and let the patrons adjust the volume and the TV channels. I wouldn’t go if it was one of those new, shiny young gyms.

9. susan365 - November 26, 2008

Okay, I’m up to Part III and I finally found a tiny bit of your enthusiasm that I can share. I miss the resistance machines, too. When I achieved regular gym attendance ten years ago, those machines were my favorite part. I remember one that I could put my feet up against, and push. Hard. Very cool.

These days, at least in summer, I put my hands on the lawn mower and push. Hard. The grass gets cut. Very cool. 🙂

10. susan365 - November 26, 2008

Okay, I’m up to Part III and I finally found a tiny bit of your enthusiasm that I can share. I miss the resistance machines, too. When I achieved regular gym attendance ten years ago, those machines were my favorite part. I remember one that I could put my feet up against, and push. Hard. Very cool.

These days, at least in summer, I put my hands on the lawn mower and push. Hard. The grass gets cut. Very cool. 🙂

11. Adam Byrn Tritt - November 26, 2008

When I was in a gym, I liked the resistance machines most of all. But I was not satisfied doing five or six of them. I had to do them all. I felt, somehow, incomplete if I did not.

Running is much easier on my soul.

But I’m glad you have taken to it and are getting the rush you need to keep it going. A body in motion stays in motion.

Ain’t physics grand?

12. susan365 - November 26, 2008

PS: Your blog is on WordPress, IB, so you should have no trouble finding those search engine terms. Click on Dashboard (upper left), and then Blog Stats. Scroll down a bit to click on Search Engine Terms. Voila!

13. indigobunting - November 27, 2008

Ah, yes, all those weight machines. That’s the huge difference at the gym. They have the space for them and can afford them!

Susan, thanks for the tip. I checked it out. Pretty interesting.

14. Adam Byrn Tritt - November 27, 2008

Oh, our gym had them. But I was the one unhappy doing only a few. By the time I did them all I was there a crazy amount of time. But I could not do just five or six or eight. Over time it became a burden. I’m sort of an all or nothing kind of guy. There are only twenty more machines, only fifteen more. Oh, that one works that muscle from a different angle, I’d better do that one as well.

Ultimately, I think that was what made the gym a burden. Too big a menu.

15. Deloney - November 28, 2008

Indigo is so buff.

16. Joya - November 29, 2008

I do admire your dedication. I belonged to a gym once, long, long ago when I was young and buff. I might be persuaded to join one again one day when my toddler is a little bit older and a lot less exhausting.

17. She She - December 3, 2008

Wow. I’ve never felt that way about a gym. I wish I did.


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