Except that it’s all a lie.
Sure, I’m happy to observe the process of change, the “fluidity” of the natural world, but only if it’s going in one direction. I’m not so sanguine about it flowing back the other way. And what is all this working out for, anyway? I’m not doing it to “shoot hoops” better, or “hit the slopes” or “round the bases” or “grease the pig” (is that even a thing? I’m so far out of my wheelhouse). No, whatever muscles I will attain during these 90 days are purely show muscles. For what? Am I trying to regain a younger ideal, to push back time? Am I attempting, ultimately, to stave off death? That’s a losing proposition. We are, Buddhists also say, every day dying (thanks, Buddhists). Buddhists believe that we suffer in this life because we are ruled by our attachments: attachments to emotions, to things, to our perceptions. And with my daily workouts I’m becoming mighty attached to an image I have of myself, and I’m already fretting about being able to sustain that image. I want to stay like this all the time. So much for impermanence.
The trick, I believe, is to enjoy the process. To observe the changes that are occurring, to enjoy them, but to refrain from placing too much value on them. The state of my body does not define who I am, it is merely one manifestation of who I am. I must realize that, inevitably, my body will not stay the same—
Wait a minute: are those lat muscles I see poking up under my arm?
Forget what I said. Must go do more pull-ups.
|Chewing gum, I swear!|
Participants: Oh, this is a chatty, almost giddy group. Everyone here reminds me of someone: Katie looks like Chloe from “24” and sounds like Jenna Fischer from “The Office;” Bobby is a shaggier version of Jon Hamm, and perhaps a gayer version too (I have no concrete evidence, just a radar bleep, plus the fact that he exclaimed, “Oh my!” twice in one minute). Timmy, diminutive, former marine Timmy, kinda looks like a ripped hobbit from LOTR with a shirt like The Green Lantern shirt and a swagger like Tommy Mickens in “True Blood.” He’s chewing gum during the warm-up, for Christ’s sake!