Sunday, November 18, 2007


A long-time friend and I made a pact 10 weeks ago to start a journey toward better fitness. I'm following the excellent Body for Life program. She is using the True Grit method. So we both spend a lot of time at the YMCA.

Here's what I have noticed: Women strive to lose and to get smaller and smaller and smaller. We work toward being the ideal object, or just not wanting to take up too much space. Am I right?

Men strive to gain and to get bigger and bigger. Just wanting to take up more space in the world or or be the subject, the do-er. There's also so much pressure on them. I'm thinking now of John Berger's "Ways of Seeing."

Some people in the gym -- especially the Elders -- seem to find a just mean. But so many people approach their workouts with a kind of terrifying mania.

As for myself, I've managed to burn some blubber and develop new muscle in these 10 weeks, but I often feel like a chubby wimp among the warriors.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Any exercise is better than none at all and as long as you feel good about it, to heck with what others thinks about it.

Anonymous said...

Caroline, I don't want to be small. I want to have BIG muscles. I want to stride around and feel powerful. But mostly I want to be topheavy with MUSCLES. I want MUSCLES.

Olivia N-J

Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sorry about that. Bikies was a mistake account and the name embarrasses me. It should be Bikey, which is the name of my bike.

Anyway, that last post read sarcastic but I was serious!

Love again,

Crayons said...

Hey Dr M
Yes, you are right, but you kind of have to be there to feel it.

Yes! I want muscles too. I want to feel powerful and able.

Ed said...

I, too, try to go to the "Y" on a somewhat regular basis, so I know what you mean. The worst is when the future "Ironman" competitors take over. You wouldn't believe the men's locker room: All these guys talking about their Workouts and Routines as if it's Important. Or, they talk about their Portfolios. I'm just there to try and be healthy (and maybe get a little bit smaller). I swim because it doesn't hurt my knees, loosens up my back, and they don't have a TV in the swimming pool. It's more like meditation when there isn't a TV dominating the experience. Then, I finish (sorry about the pun) up in the sauna (pronounced "SOW-na", as any Finn knows) and try to ignore the Financial Talk and the yahoos with their iPods at full volume. That's the best.

Crayons said...

Well said, Geranium. God, I never even considered the reality of the men's locker room. I have enough trouble trying to do bicep curls around them. You know, I really think we are aging gracefully.