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Honey, is that you?

Aug
22
2006

The great thing about writing online is hearing from your readers. Most people, who haven’t been duly informed of your mind-shattering existence and crystalline insights, go about their lives and couldn’t care less what you have to say.
Friends, family, and the guy who sat next to you in Mrs. Head’s fifth grade music class, though, are quick to fling back-channel comments on your “performance.” It’s like having your people watch you flounder on a hidden-camera dating show. There you are, thinking that salmon really is your color and making that irony-laden (but still not funny) comment you always make when someone mentions height, while they sit behind the screen and wince.


Granted, on a good day, the comments are something like: “I could hear you saying the words WHILE I was reading it.” Most days, though, they run more to the: “You mean to tell me you still can’t cook?” or “Come on, what’s this thing about wanting to be called signorina?”
So far, my biggest pile of “God, what has happened to you?” missives would have to be from the gym story. People who know me, say for more than about six months, probably know that I’m a former gymnast.
It would stick in your mind because I’m so clearly “former” rather than “gymnast.” Up until about a year ago, exercise meant using a bike as main means of transportation or having built-in Step classes, e.g. living in walk-ups. Then Rufus came into my life. There’s nothing like a scampericious bearded collie (think “Shaggy Dog 2“) to make getting up at six a.m. to go for a walk not only seem reasonable, but actually plausible.
It was then I noticed that long, early-morning jaunts were good for the mind and spirit. I also noticed, peering out from a burka-like avocado green plastic raincoat at the other dog owners in sporty Barbour macs and matching boots, that there was only segment of the Italian population allowed to go outside badly dressed: joggers.
That was enough incentive for me. It turned out I liked running, as much for the chance to wear mismatched socks and look at the Castello Sforzesco as for the run itself.
Friends warned about the slippery fitness slope: one said her formerly dormant younger brother took up jogging and within a year had done a marathon, got a new girlfriend and bought a house.
Despite this cautionary tale of freakish change, I kept at it. But as the summer blasted on, it became too hot to run outside.
The gym around the corner had what I was looking for: an aquarium-sized pool to soak in and a bunch of courses that sounded like Yoga on Botox (Body Flow, Mat4Me and something called Meridian Stretching). Everyone knows journalists aren’t supposed to like going to gyms, it’s just not liver-punishing enough. So we have to make excuses, like, “there’s free day care” or, as a friend of mine in New York justifies, “because Anderson Cooper works out here.”
Then they handed me a plastic yellow key, an RFID thingy that would remind me how many reps to do on the machines and monitor progress on the treadmill. I was planning to keep this gym thing to myself, but Gadget Girl couldn’t resist the story.
Once I’d written about the gym, for people who know me, all of that journalistic inquiry took back seat to the fact that a) I was frequenting a gym b) I was admitting frequenting a gym and c) there was nothing about how, for the most part of my adult life, if given the option I would rather be strapped to a gynecologist’s chair and forced to listen to Charo sing “Bubbles” backwards and at high volume than exercise.
It was one time when less (as in feedback) would have definitely been more (as in welcome).

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 12:53 PM | Permalink

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