What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
Despite the above insta-evidence to the contrary, I am not what you would call athletic. I own exactly one ill-fitting sports bra and the sneakers languishing in the back of my closet have been there for years. While looking for applicable Facebook photos to include in this post, I had to scroll through YEARS of photos — is there anything more disheartening that realizing that the majority of sports you've participated in over the course of your lifetime are alcohol-related? — and still only found a handful of pictures and this video of me doing a jump course at a college horse show terribly.
For anyone shaking their heads about the dismal clip on that last fence, please keep in mind that I got a concussion two days before. I shouldn't have even been on a horse. Why am I telling you all of this? The point, I guess, of the pony video and the rock-climbing instagram post is that in order for me to exercise, it has to be "fun." It has to be an activity, not calorie-burning for the sake of calorie-burning.
It's been so long since I've really exercised that I'm not sure it will ever be fun again.
I am not like Jane who is capable of spending multiple hours a day on a stationary bike and never gets rashes at hot yoga (I'm extrapolating here. I know she goes to yoga and maybe hot yoga sometimes and I've never seen her skin be anything but a wee bit dry). Dan is also fit as hell and he and Jane will chatter about their ClassPass experiences while I twitch at my desk and then run outside — overcome with shame — to smoke a cigarette.
You see, I used to be crazy in shape. Now, I am not and the fact that my body cannot do what it once could makes me so upset that I don't even want to bother. It couldn't possibly be fun. However, the world is ending and I'm doing this whole hiking thing and so Dan got me a ClassPass trial month and today ClassPass emailed me to tell me that January 13th is the most active day of the year!
I read this email while sitting on my couch and drinking tea (I'm not afraid of the cold outside, I'm coming down with something) and feeling like a loser. I don't have fancy workout pants. I don't have spin shoes. I don't have long, shiny hair to casually twist into a top knot while glistening instead of sweating. I hang my head in shame outside of Equinox because, even though I'm fairly petite, my torso doesn't ripple with muscle. (Do you see where I'm going with this? No? I'll get the fucking point).
A lot of my workout related anxiety is not based on actually working out. Intellectually, I understand that it's a process and eventually I'll get back the rockin' body I had when I was a 12-year-old gymnast (you know, except with boobs). I also acknowledge that being in a gym environment exacerbates my inferiority complex because I am not wealthy and white and coltish and these things make me feel shitty.
So, next week — not this week, I'M COMING DOWN WITH SOMETHING — I'm going to get on the ClassPass horse (I would much rather get on an actual horse, but riding in NYC is way too expensive) and show up at some awesome gym in my six-year-old sneakers and a pair of ratty yoga pants. I'm going to embrace my soft, small, weak body like I would embrace a chinchilla. Chinchillas are cute and they can't help that they're small and skittish and I am cute and I can't help that I've been so out of shape for so long but I can get back into it.
So, today, the most active day of the year, I'm activating my ClassPass membership. Any suggestions?
(I will take any and all suggestions relating to the following topics: your favorite exercise classes, how you've personally conquered workout anxiety, headbands for people with large heads and not much hair, sports bras, spin classes, and protein shakes.)