Saturday, January 15, 2011

In which fitness is discussed

Unfortunately, this is a post about exercise and fitness that I'm writing in January. I expect that gives the impression of relating it to New Year's Resolutions and the mass fixation on swearing to lose weight in time for summer. That said, this isn't a post about New Year's or weight loss. It's a post about exercise and fitness and it just happens that I've been getting interested in that over the last few months. Anyway:

I'm not totally sure how to introduce this topic. I think my recent interest in having a certain degree of exercise competence is because I want to be the badass that I imagine I have the potential to be. I want to be able to nonchalantly do handstands (much the way I bunnyhop on a unicycle, I suppose) and that sort of thing. I also like the idea of being strong, I guess there's a sort of prestige in that and also it's not a "feminine" thing to be strong, so I guess I like that aspect of it. But I also really like the flexibility aspect. I keep thinking I am going to ask some of the contortionists I know what sort of stretches they do (I keep forgetting/not seeing them) because I think contortion is awesome. I like the idea of exploring the flexibility limits of the human body. Sort of related to that, last month I decided to start going to yoga.

I've been doing yoga for about a month now; I only go a couple times a week because that is all the time I have. I had no idea it was so push-up intensive. Probably not all yoga is but this style,
Vinyasa, seems to be. This shit is hard. I do pretty okay at some stuff because I'm more flexible than the average bear (not more flexible than the average yogi though), but I am not really strong. A lot of the poses require a ton of arm strength and I just don't have it. Crow pose, for example, is totally fucking ridiculous.

Additionally, I find myself wanting to lose some weight just so I can be more flexible at yoga. There are a number of stretches that I know I could reach farther on, but fat is in the way. That's kind of awkward to share with the inernet, but whatever, there it is. The problem with that is I am just not willing to go out of my way to lose weight. As the douchebag doctor I saw the other day told me, "You will not lose weight from exercise." That's too bad, since that's they way I'm most amenable to it. Ugh, discussion of that is for another time.

I've also had my interest piqued by a few other little things. The 100 push-ups challenge (or whatever it is) seems cool. Essentially, it eases you into being great at push-ups with the goal of doing 100 after six weeks. Doing 100 pushups sounds like something impossible, which is kind of why I want to try it, I suppose. I also appreciate that it takes zero equipment and only takes a few minutes a day. Related to that, I keep hearing about people having success with the Couch to 5k program. I hate running, but I like the idea of being able to run if I had to (what if I was at the zoo and a bear escaped and started chasing me? I feel the need to be ready for anything). I doubt I am going to do this in the immediate future, but I am keeping it in mind for when I am ready to drink the running kool-aid.

Finally, I bought a bike about two weeks ago, with the intent of commuting around town on it. This one is definitely more of a practical consideration than anything. I am hoping that I'll be student teaching at the high school that's about 2 miles from my house so I can bike and save some money. That's some serious savings since gas is at $3.30 right now. It will have the added bonus of giving me thighs of steel, since it doesn't have gears. I sacrificed gears for cool-lookingness: I bought a used beach cruiser with fenders. Also, my bike has this sweet basket on the front that you can just lift off and use as a shopping basket. I can't wait to bike more. The only sad part is that I wanted to just start biking everywhere immediately, but I am not that fit, so I'm trying to slowly ease into it, which is way less fun.

I feel like this is the yeah when all my shit is going to come together and I'd like being awesome at exercise is a bit of a part of that. I don't really care if I lose weight doing it, but just to be like "hey, I can do 100 push-ups" and not be being a sarcastic asshole as I say it has a certain appeal.

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