Monday, March 8, 2010

Crap I Probably Should Have Figured at New Years

Okay, self revelatory posts are supposed to be written in January when everyone else is yammering on about making a fresh start. I know, but I am not everyone else. Actually, that is one of the shocking epiphanies to confront me over the past month.  I am different. Yes. I am ACTUALLY quite different and not in that self-soothing; "Oh, I just dance to the beat of a different drummer" bullshit that you tell yourself after your Flock of Seagulls haircut has failed to impress your peers.  I am made differently and in two important parts of life I have been passive-aggressively attempting to deny my true self, for a long time. I didn't even realize I was doing it. 

In the arena of all things religious, I have long labored under the notion that my atheism was entirely private. Don't ask, don't tell. I will deftly evade discussions of God and perhaps even nod in agreement when the situation paints me into a corner.  I am not going to talk about not believing.  Why rock the boat, right?  Well, I went and had myself a baby and all of a sudden that baby needs training up in the ways of relating to other humans and how to be nice and all that stuff you never think about until a tiny voice asks you, "Why did the bird die?" Shit.  I'm working on that question with the help of this book and I will probably be talking about this subject a lot more in the future.

Physical fitness is another phantom that I have long avoided making eye contact with. Until I had a baby all that was necessary for me to lose a couple of pounds was to will it into reality. Hmmm, I may have overdone it on the Christmas cookies this year. Well, I should probably eat more sensibly. Poof! Really.

I have never enjoyed organized sports. Okay, with the exception of theater I have never enjoyed organized anything.  I just don't. You can't make me. I'm gonna take this book and go read under a tree by myself. Don't follow me!  Junior high and high school gym classes were akin to the 9 circles of hell for me. I know that when it comes to kids and fitness, traditional wisdom suggests the promotion of sports and playing.  If they are having fun, they won't know it's good for them!  Once I reached puberty and my body sprout these comically disproportionate boobs and sent my hormones into dark places, I lost any joy I might have known for sports. I pouted. I protested the injustice of volley ball.  I purposely wore mismatched gym clothes and never took them home to be washed.  I was told on more than one occasion that my lack of participation would be reflected in my grade. I was not much more cooperative when I took phys. ed. in  college, where I was expected to be enthusiastic about learning to monitor my heart rate. Gah! I don't care about optimizing or maximizing or whatever. Is there an option for "feels good and keeps me from huffing on a flight of stairs"?

I am not lazy. I really like being outside and walking. I really wish I had a bicycle. My fondest childhood memories are of taking off alone on my bike and exploring. Are you beginning to see a theme here? When you look for fitness ideas as an adult, they all talk about having a workout buddy or using a video to encourage you to "reach your goals".  I struggle to plan dinner. Planning fitness goals is not in my nature.

My husband is currently devoting himself to something called P90X.  It is a vicious, video workout regiment, complete with smug muscle heads and incessant pep-talking.  Listening to it for even a few minutes causes my brain to itch. I despise a pep talk. SHUT UP! So, I have taken to leaving the house while Aaron tortures himself.  On the days when Violet does not accompany me on these walks, I take the ipod.  Aaron made me a snarky playlist of inspirational workout music (including the theme from Rocky, which only makes me think of Mr. Mom doing housework and NOT running) and although the music was nice it did not compel me to push myself. Today, I decided that I would listen to the stand-up comedy of Patton Oswald and you know what happened?  I had fun. I smiled and tried not to laugh like a crazy person, while I walked the neighborhood at a brisk pace.  It was a wonderful escape.  I got some exercise and I didn't have to follow anyone else's stupid rules about "working out" and using peer pressure to stay on track.  I didn't have to go to a class and no one chirped in my ear about what a great job I was doing. In fact, Patton Oswald talked about his own struggles to be healthy and then joked about putting french fries on top of his cupcakes. Hilarious.

I don't know. Maybe I am rambling. I feel like I just came to a crossroads and decided to jaywalk across the street to my true self.  There are way fewer people over here and I think I might keep walking.

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