some thoughts on exercise



crow pose at Crater Lake outside of Aspen



I'm not the kind of person who makes friends at the gym, but I just have so many thoughts about my exercise. So let's pretend we're gym buddies. I promise not to sweat on you. Or cut you with my toenail

1. You know that episode of Girls where Shoshanna is on crack and she keeps saying she needs to go to the front at kickboxing? She's so right. Once you take the plunge and move to the front of a class, you'll just kind of feel like everyone is looking up to you (even though they probably couldn't care less about you) and you'll work harder.

2. Having said that, the other day I was late for a workout class and ended up smushed in the back between two huge guys. I have never worked harder -- I had to keep up with them or I would lose the secret competition we were secretly having. Which would obviously be unacceptable.

3. Recently, teachers in the workout classes I take have started announcing that we're doing "Madonna arms," which basically means that you hold your arms straight out beside you and pulse them up and down, back and forth, for a few minutes. I have two issues with this. First of all, I refuse to believe that this exercise works because how have humans had arms for their entire existence and yet never thought to tone them by waving them up and down? And secondly, it's time for us, as a society, to find a new arm role model. I don't want Madonna's arms. 

4. One of my teachers plays Michael Jackson's "Will you be there" during final shavasana. Two things you should know: One, shavasana is when you're supposed to lay still on your mat, relax and think about nothing. Two, that song is from Free Willy. How am I supposed to think about nothing when I'm desperately trying not to sob thinking about saving the whales and wondering what happened to the kid from Free Willy?

5. I have to tell you about the time I actually did sob during a yoga sculpt class. Everything was going fine until suddenly, there was a hair in my mouth. No big deal, I pulled it out. But it wasn't a hair. It was a hairball. I gagged a little, but still, no big deal. I placed the mystery hairball far away from my mat and bent over, catching a glimpse of my mat. It was covered in hairballs. 

This is when I should tell you that I hate hair. I respond to unattached hair the way most people (including myself) react to tarantulas.

I frantically swept away the hairballs, but they kept appearing on my mat, between my toes, in my mouth, stuck to my water bottle, ET AL. Does anyone else still look around for Ashton Kutcher when stuff like this happens? I definitely thought someone was playing a cruel prank on me. I don't know where all the hair came from, but it seemed to multiply throughout the class. I spent a lot of that hour with my head buried in my [hairy] towel, crying. And maybe laughing a little. But mostly crying.