Yesterday, the first Monday of the year was “tourist” day at my gym. I overheard one regular guy acknowledge this annual phenomenon to a friend and end with, “that’s ok, they’ll all be gone by Valentine’s Day.” Snark.
It’s true, though. I’ve belonged to this gym for over 11 years and I don’t need to look up the statistics to know that the vast majority of yesterday’s newcomers will be gone in a month. It makes me sad. Oh, sure, the extra people make everything more crowded, there are lines at the locker desk, waits at the weight stations, extra bodies circling the track. But, there is also a general air of excitement and promise each January that comes with those shiny new resolutions to lighten and tone and sweat. I want every one of those newbies to still be there next to me come June and July. You won’t hear any snarky comments from me, nosiree, ’cause I remember my first day and what it took to come back on day two.
I’ve noticed a good number of female bloggers taking up the “fat and fit” banner as a feminist issue, and I agree with what they have to say about bowing to societal pressure when it comes to body image, shame, standards of what’s sexy and what’s not, all imposed on us by a patriarchy invested in harnessing women as the sex class. I even buy the criticism of the arbitrary guidelines that purport to tell us if we actually are overweight or not. I get it.
But, why stop the discussion there? Forget about your dress size, how many push-ups can you do? How fast can you run a mile? Walk a mile? Can you touch your toes? How many minutes of sweat-inducing exercise do you get each day? Compare your answers to current CDC guidelines for physical activity. Good health is a lot more than the absence of illness.
Since I’m not aware of any feminist theory that professes my right to die sooner rather than later, I plan to continue sweating in hopes of living long enough to annoy every conservative I’ve ever known for as long as possible. That’s all the motivation I need to get to the gym each day.