December 29, 2008 at 8:34 am
Going to the gym is ridiculous. I think this every time I am at the gym. I think this when I get in my car and drive two miles to go run two miles. There is something fundamentally flawed about that scenario. There is something deeply ridiculous about watching the men and women around me operating machines solely to exhaust themselves. They’re not sweating to manufacture shoes. They’re not hunched over setting type to print newspapers. They’re not even running the machine that punches holes in donuts. We’re just running and rowing and lifting heavy objects so we’ll be able to run and row and lift heavy objects. It’s weird.
I think it odd that our culture has developed to a point where we now have to set aside a block of time every day to do something our bodies were meant to do everyday anyway. It’s as though our bodies are not able to evolve as quickly as our society is changing. So we’re left behind, running in place. If you’re clever, you can make exercise fun by playing sports with friends. You can give it a sense of meaning and accomplishment by training for a race, trying to top your best effort. Still, if you are not a heavy laborer or a bike messenger, if you work in an office like me, you have to work to make exercise part of your life.
So, I go to the gym. Except for November when I decided exercise was stupid and watched a lot of movies in bed. But then I walked up three flights of stairs at work and was breathing heavier than I should have been. So I realized, running in place, climbing an endless stairway, is not completely pointless. It has its place and it’s a necessity in a life like mine where I don’t have to fight to feed myself.
But I still think it’s ridiculous.