First they came for our office buildings, and I didn’t speak out because working from home sounded kind of fun.
Then they came for our bars and restaurants, and I didn’t speak out because we could still get takeout and delivery.
But then they came for our gyms, and I was NOT emotionally prepared for it.
You see, I’m one of those people who goes to the gym every day. I could say that it’s because I’m focus-driven and motivated to achieve personal goals. I could say that it’s because years and years of societal conditioning still has me convinced that I’m fat, despite all logic and evidence to the contrary. I could even say that it’s just something to do to kill time because I still haven’t made a lot of friends in New York. And all of that would be more or less true, but it would also be leaving out one of the most important reasons:
Tiring myself out through strenuous cardio is pretty much the only thing that succeeds in getting my Anxiety Brain to shut the fuck up for a minute.
I spend the vast majority of my waking hours trying to find ways to burn off nervous energy before it has the chance to seep into the cracks of my mind and ruin my whole day. And historically, the only thing that really works is burning it all off in one golden hour at the gym.
Take away the gym, and you’re taking away my outlet for anxiety management. And that is something that I just CANNOT handle being without during a global health crisis/pandemic/quarantine/preamble to the apocalypse.
And yes, I know that this is such a silly problem to have. I know that there are people out there during this pandemic who are beyond inconvenienced, and are instead wondering how they’re going to be able to feed their families or keep themselves safe or put their lives back together from how rapidly and thoroughly they’ve been cast asunder. I’m fully aware that people have lost their livelihoods and some have even lost their loved ones. It’s real, it’s happening, and it’s certainly in terrible taste for me to act like a closed gym deserves mention in the same sentence as those trials and tribulations.
But goddammit, I just want to go to my spin class! It’s so little to ask from the universe!
The thing about the universe, of course, is that it doesn’t owe you anything no matter how reasonable a request it may be. My gym isn’t re-opening any sooner just because I really, really want it to. And as much as it sucks, I just have to realize that there’s nothing I can do about that.
The silver lining is that, while you can’t ever control what life throws at you, you can always control how you react to it. So I decided that instead of wringing my hands and tearing at my active wear mourning the loss of my beloved safe space, I was just going to have to embrace reality and get on with it.
And so far, the spin bike we now have in our living room is doing the very important job of keeping me sane during this quarantine. It’s still a reminder that the gym is closed and nothing in my life is quite normal, but it’s also a reminder that the world, just like me at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, will keep on spinning.