Forget your guilt over not working enough, not loving enough, not being enough. There is no way that you can get over the universal guilt of not exercising enough. Remember when you were a kid with endless capacities of energy, of fun and games? Probably not. Probably, that was a vision from an 80s family film. Was exercise ever fun? Eh, no. Most truly, not.
Exercise is more complicated than love itself, and a more blooming enterprise than marriage. You are most likely to prefer losing a few kilos(and maybe more) than going after your dream job. Or dream car. You probably want that job and car more because they are easier to achieve than physical fitness. And pray, what might that be? It is easier to define happiness than physical health. Even if your doctor says you are healthy, the universe is constantly telling you, more like droning in your ear, “there is more to do. MUCH, MUCH more”
I’ve never been one of those people that doctors would say is in “sound health”. Exercise has also never agreed with me, even when there was no guilt involved. Shame, really, for I was always asthmatic, with a number of allergies. I didn’t have any qualities like Forrest Gump to make me fit in better, and speaking of Forrest Gump, I was one of the slowest runners I have ever known. Probably, the slowest, because unlike a few other kids, I wasn’t too cool for running. I was endlessly enthusiastic, and had a lot of energy. Just didn’t have the talent in physical agility to match up for it. But, I had other qualities. If no one wanted me on their badminton or cricket team, I made up with becoming a commentator. Yes, those lungs couldn’t stand a meaningless pacing around, but they could scream out a topical joke. I secretly pride myself for causing matches to halt because of bouts of laughter caused among the players. Unprofessional, but devilishly clever.
So, my vocal, linguistic and visual qualities strengthened, but not the rest of my body. If anyone had told me that they needed each other to perform better, I probably wasn’t listening. Or didn’t want to give occasion to live the shame again. Have you ever noticed that no one cares for those who lose in an actual race? Yes, I thought so. You didn’t notice.
So, my shame was in my head. I did try my hand, or should I say my exercising body, at other things though. I tried basketball, which I quite liked. I did keep shaming myself at badminton thinking, well, it is a slightly ridiculous game anyway. I’ve always loved dancing. I prefer dancing to chatting or eating at parties. So, exercise can be good, as long as it isn’t exercise. As long as it is fun.
But, there isn’t much scope for that kinda fun in our grown up world. Sure,you have a pedometer on your phone, but you’d much prefer if it actually record you walking down a beach than on your way to work. I sometimes workout to YouTube videos. These amazing videos by TheBeachBodyMom are the only one which don’t intimidate me from the ones I’ve tried. For one thing, her personality does half the job. It is like sunshine (but not in a cheesy sort of way) in my congested living room. However, even the wonderful Angie can’t make me get up every morning and follow her. Now, why is that? Is it a remnant of that childhood shame? I won’t ever bother with a gym membership, as I don’t want to pay to feel bad about myself again. It just gets tiresome giving people a list of your conditions so that they pity you, for about half a minute, and then go about their business, thinking, despite your enthusiasm, you will never be that project, that perfect body of physical fitness they want you to be.
And that is the problem with fitness culture. You can’t be good enough for it, for it will sanction only the best. The most beautiful, photogenic bodies out there. They tell you that exercising regularly is what matters but, what they really want is a miracle. A weight-loss story. An inspirational tale. They don’t want to be in business with the whole spectrum of human beings.
No point being sore. After all, its my health and my body. I have to find what works for it best. I should try and be more committed to Angie’s videos, since those are the ones that have worked so far. However, I wish the guilt and the shame could be removed from this. In ancient Greece, people ran naked in the Olympics, after all. Surely, we could try something similar.