Friday, January 09, 2004

Purposeful Movement 

At every turn, I am deluged with ads and advice columns targeted toward people who have made getting in shape their New Year's resolution. "Go to the gym!" says the news reporter. "Go to our gym!" says the fitness instructor. "Hire a personal trainer! Work out with a buddy!" The advice is pretty much the same wherever you go.

I would also like to get back in shape. I cancelled my gym membership back in November because I wasn't going regularly, but I do not want to reinstate it. The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems to me that a human being must pay to stand on a silly, boring machine in order to maintain his body properly. Put that way, it sounds like something out of science fiction, doesn't it? Our bodies evolved the way they are because at one time we needed to walk, run, lift, dig, and swim. Our bodies are designed for work, not for sitting in chairs all day. I want to exercise, but I want my movement to have a purpose. I don't want to walk on a treadmill simply for the sake of walking. I want to walk because I'm going somewhere, run because I'm in a hurry, dance because I'm partying, lift and carry things that need to be moved.

Time is in short supply. I don't feel like I should waste it with self-serving, aimless repetiton. There has got to be some way that I can work exercise into the fabric of my daily life. I want to make movement a part of accomplishing all the things I need to get done each day. That's the way things used to be, lo these many years ago. How else could our species have made it to 2004? That's why I believe that, contrary to what the news and the ads are telling us right now, humans are capable of surviving without gyms.


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