It is well past time to get back to the gym. From last July to this January, I had a beautiful weight-lifting practice happening. Then there was a time of dramatic life upheaval—I didn't have a place to live for several months, while I bought an apartment and flash-renovated it and moved in and now I'm an hour's travel from my beloved Bed-Stuy Y weight room.
No one is reading this, but I'm writing it. This week. Girl, this week. Remember the times when you got under the bar facing the window looking out onto Jefferson St. and you felt so happy and so grateful you thought you might cry. My body has been waiting for me to learn, I thought and scribbled somewhere. My body is a wisewoman. I am afraid of how much lighter my lifts will have to be and afraid that I will not like the new gym. I am afraid that the magic is gone. I am afraid that the new weight room will be full of the wrong kind of rack and the wrong kind of bar and the wrong kind of plates and the wrong kind of dudes. But lifting got me through a tricky six months; it felt like a new kind of embodiment. Strong & tough & determined.
And yes, in thinking about starting it again, as in thinking about starting it for the first time, I think about being smaller. I think about the shoulder muscles I can't see anymore. But while I was lifting that was rarely the dominant thing. I'd check my jaw and my waist in the mirror, but, my own sweet self: remember the first time you got the full set of 135-pound squats? You damn near bawled with joy. You have not had a lot of joy in your body lately; your sex drive has mysteriously tanked and your anxiety has kicked up to fever pitch. You need some joy. Your sensation up and rushing through you. The way you could feel out to your own edges: walking, even sitting. You need to get back into the gym. This week. Promise. You don't have to lift anything; just go over there and see it. Figure out the locker room, the membership fee; pre-contemplate the routine. If you hate this gym, there are other gyms; you can figure this out. But this one is across the street from your apartment, and cheap, and across the street from your apartment. Just go inside and talk to someone. This week.