On Exercise

11 Feb

Oh hi Mark.

It’s week two of Beast Mode, and true to my pact with the universe, my life over the past seven days has been a blur of productivity. A bout of unidentifiable chest pain (which was not unlike some violent organism trying to burrow out of my ribcage) threatened to put the kibosh on my unstoppable momentum, but come on. Ain’t nothin but a thang.

This is nothing. Trust me. Been there.

Chief among my health concerns, aside from keeping an eagle eye on my food intake, was exercise. I managed to hit the gym five times last week, which was my goal; booyah achieved (colloquialism credit: Sonia). I indulged in a scintillating cocktail of cardio, core, isometrics, and free weights, complemented by a carefully chosen playlist: heady yet seasonal, with notes of Notorious B.I.G.. That playlist is actually over six hours long, so when I’m sweating away and I need that extra musical motivator, at least I’m spoilt for choice.

Let’s get one thing straight: I am only just beginning to enjoy exercise, and even that is pushing the limit of my true feeling. I hope that, as some have told me will happen with time, my body will learn to crave it, to lust masochistically after pain and hardship and moan with satisfaction when physically punished. As it stands, my approach has been to look at exercise as a challenge to be overcome, a dungeon puzzle to be solved, a Goliath to be slain. This tactic allows me to channel any excess frustration, anger, or any other motivating emotion into victory over the next rep, or five minutes, or what have you.

Funny thing though. What athletes apparently experience as “The Zone” – a total focus-driven mind/body synergy – I experience more as “The Twilight Zone”, a place where my conscious mind is free to drift in geosynchronous orbit above my lumbering corporeal form, and thence wander at will. I find myself thinking about very silly things, like how do you actually thread shoelaces? And, more abstractly, what if my body was being controlled by a tiny captain and crew, like the Starship Justin or something? Every movement, every function, would be an adventure of epic proportions. I’d need to pee and it’d be like “To the bathroom, Mr. Sulu!” And it’s a big operation, just going pee. Dilithium fuel crystals at maximum, warp factor five, the whole deal. And the whole thing is fraught with peril – what if something goes wrong? I mean what if there’s a spout malfunction and the nozzle starts spraying urine all over the place? What if I bump into something accidentally – do the little Spocks and Uhuras cling to their little protoplasmic consoles for dear life, other crew members getting flung across the bridge, AAAAAAAAHHH! until the ship steadies itself again?

And then I remember I’m on the elliptical, and holy shit how did twenty minutes just go by? And my mind descends to the planet surface, touches down, and I realize I’m panting and sweating and wow, I just murdered that cardio set! Yeah baby! So I guess it’s kind of a good thing. But a bit more focus would probably make for an optimal exercise experience. I guess my mind isn’t made for synergy. My mind and my body are more like housemates who keep stealing each other’s food – wary, mistrustful, but not ready to argue about it or come to blows. Just make passive-aggressive comments and hope the other one gets the point.

There is a way that THINGS ARE DONE DAMMIT

All that said, I’m beginning to find my groove, and exercise is certainly becoming more fun – especially as I begin to see the benefits.

But man am I sore.


4 Responses to “On Exercise”

  1. withloveandlaughter February 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm #


    I have had the inkling for the longest time that I could in theory become one of those girls who goes for evening runs and does yoga when she wakes up, but I’ve never been able to get in the habit of the whole thing.

    Also, I must give credit for “Booyeah Achieved” to the amazing and wondrous band Minus the Bear. They have the best song names ever including, but not limited to “Booyeah Achieved,” “Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister,” and “Housten, We Have Uh Oh.”

    P.S…. do you remember that Star Trek movie where Kim Cattrall was a Vulcan? Ha… classic.

  2. RedWein February 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    One of the great things about exercise is that even if you’re thinking a lot, you’re thinking freely usually without any stressors. Better to be thinking about Vulcan’s and reducing the stress for your upcoming week of exams than be fretting about it at home. Week 4 of beast mode complete for me, and changes are definitely being seen. There is a lesson that you should know well Justin and it is from a very profound movie, NO MIND. Remember it, cherish it, and unleash the beast (that sounded really sexual after I wrote it, but you know what I mean)

    • RedWein February 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      meant to link this

    • jcdynamite February 11, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

      Obviously, I do sometimes have TOO MANY MIND. Although I can’t imagine Tom Cruise having that problem.

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