Two weekends ago I tore through The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl—Shauna’s awesome book, based on her awesome blog. I knew it would be funny, and that it would be well-written, thoughtful, catch me off guard sometimes, that it would be moving. That I’d do that embarrassing thing where you snort out loud and choke on your laugh because you are in public and doing a Quiet Activity and because you are not supposed to be giggling to yourself on public transportation, because that’s just weird. And I got caught out without a tissue for the emotional parts and I got upset at the stressful parts because there was no one around to exclaim to about how worried you were about how things were going to turn out (even though you knew how thing turned out, because you had read the blog).
It was a damn fine book, and a good read, and I was proud to know Shauna and I was very happy and it was all good and you should all read it and these were all things that I had expected, when I had picked up my copy and prepared to tear my way through. What I didn’t expect was the feeling of longing it would engender in me, the weird restlessness, the sense that things were not as they should be and what was I doing, sitting on the couch and not wearing pants when I could be at the gym, doing a Body Pump class. Lifting iron! Sweating to the music! Going Rahr! and kicking ass and taking names because I am Powerful and Strong! And sitting on the couch, not wearing pants.
It is kind of a cliche to read a book about someone’s big, life-changing adventure and say that it is inspiring and inspirational and makes you want to achieve something inspiringly inspirational, but there it is. Shauna writes about going to the gym and finding these group exercise classes and becoming completely addicted to them, going religiously, loving how they made her feel, ending up splashing out on a gym even when she was adventurous yet poor after moving to Scotland. Body Pump! I put down the book, when I finished, and I immediately went to my gym’s website and looked up the Body Pump class schedule and wrote down the times and days and I was ready to put on some pants and go pump! My body!
Except it has been about two weeks and my body has yet to be pumped. At the gym, I mean. And I am itchy. I keep looking at the schedule, keep thinking about putting on sneakers (and pants), keep thinking about getting out there and getting pumped and how inspired I was and how good it would feel and maybe if I pumped my body a lot somehow I would get to move to Scotland or something, and yet I remain, on the couch, pantsless.
Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but it turns out that it is not enough. Maybe I only have enough room to fit in one small good habit at a time. I’m writing regularly, with great verve and happiness and a feeling that to not write would be a terrible thing and also impossible and wrong. I will concentrate on that, for awhile, build up my Responsibility muscle, stretch and bend and work the shit out of it in front of the computer every day, without pants, putting together a book I am proud of, so far, for the most part. And eventually, when I feel that my grasp on this new habit I have is less tenuous, less liable to shatter into a million pieces and leave me pantsless on the couch eating cheese doodles and forgetting how to write a sentence, when I feel like I have got this one, important habit carved so deeply into me that it has decorated my bones, I will see about adding a new one that involves weights and clothing my bottom half and muscley things.
Maybe that is a cop-out, laziness, a fear of pants. But I have this image of me as a plate spinner, adding one too many (two) and having everything crashing down, and I think a plate to the head would kill me. I’ll get there, and you will be so impressed with me and all my magnificently whirling plates, and I will be impressed too.
Image by kReEsTaL