So Many New Toys

By Laura Moncur @ 2:21 pm — Filed under:

In case you hadn’t noticed, I recently joined a gym. I keep getting surprised at how nice the facilities are and I am so happy to go there. It’s really like a big playground for adults. There are treadmills, rowing machines, two kinds of stair climbers, two kinds of elliptical trainers, two kinds of exercise bikes and a funny thing that you do with your arms that I don’t even know the name of. There are free weights and weight machines of such variety and quantity that I am intimidated and excited all in one. There is a hot tub and a sauna to relax in after I’m done with exercising.

If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.
Herodotus (484 BC – 430 BC), The Histories of Herodotus

I feel like the kid that can’t choose between the swings, the slide, the monkey bars or the thing that goes round and round until you puke. I set aside time to go to the gym today and I was so excited to get finished with my routine plans just so that I could go there. I was sitting quietly in my meditation class trying to clear my mind, but all I could think about was which cool thing I would do today.

Remember when exercising was fun? I sure do. I remember learning to ride a bike. I didn’t have a bike, but my grandma said that I could use hers. It was an antique bike with a bright blue frame and white-wall tires. It was too big for me, so I used the curb to get on it. No one ran behind me. No one held it up. I just kept falling and falling until I learned how to stop falling. I have no pleasurable memories of a loving father following behind me, just battle scars on my legs, hands and arms. I did the same the summer I taught myself to ride a bike with no hands. Riding a bike wasn’t about cardiovascular exercise back then. It was about learning and transportation.

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.
– Eugene S. Wilson

I remember wanting to roller skate all night. When my mom would call me in for dinner, I pretended like I couldn’t hear her. I hoped that maybe she would give me just a few more minutes of play time. I remember wanting to roller skate so much that I skated to school in the winter. It had been a freezing winter with little snow and too much fog. I remember worrying about bumping into something in the fog because I was going so fast.

I remember wanting to roller skate to impress the boys. I wanted to go to Skateland West so bad that Chelly and I rode our bikes there. We rode our bikes about fifteen miles to go skating and then rode them home in the dark and the cold. I remember eagerly awaiting my report card to see how many good marks I got. Skateland West would give out three free skate passes for every A, two for every B, and one for every C. I was so excited to earn those passes because it was really expensive for me to pay three dollars to go roller skating and a free pass was like free fun.

People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children.
Bill Watterson (1958 – ), Calvin and Hobbes

Now, here I am. Flushed and happy from a good workout and relaxing soak, I feel like that little girl who had a handful of skate passes. I’m thinking about when I can go back again. When I’m there, it’s hard work and lots of unattractive sweating, but after I’m done, I’m so stoked for the next time I can go. The best part is that I can go whenever I want. I think I’ll try that weird arm thing for my cardio next time. I just hope it doesn’t go round and round until I puke.


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