this morning i decided that there are certain forms of socially acceptable masochism. for initiates, aerobics and pilates are two excellent examples. i say "excellent" instead of "good," because the pain lasts long after the mid-stomach crunch grimaces are gone. that, to me, gives it a superior qualification. and i have been in a superior state of soreness all day long.
patricio's aunt sara runs a small gym a few blocks away, and she'd been trying to convince me to go for the last two months. occasionally, i'd tell myself that i was up for it, mentally prepped for putting on gym clothes the next morning and heading over to feel the burn. but i've never really been a fan of "working out," preferring to keep myself out of trouble and total sedentariness by walking a lot(new york was my ultimate anti-gym utopia). now add to the gym aversion my love of sleeping in, and the sum is an alisa who never showed up in her sneakers. until yesterday.
i saw sara at her father-in-law's wake on monday night. after the mass service was over, we sat together on a big love seat in the funeral chapel, talking in low voices about my morning lethargy. after a moment of thought, she laid out her plan that would allow me no escape: she was coming for me on wednesday morning at 7:45. i'm sure my eyes glazed over as i nodded my assent.
sure enough, she was ringing the doorbell right on time yesterday morning. the dear woman is 52, and in a matter of 26 hours, she has managed to grind my body into a whimpering pulp. bopping around on her aerobic step, shouting out eight-counts that often fall off beat, wrapping a towel around her head turban-style to soak up the sweat as she drilla us in our tricep squeezes, she is like a quirky and wonderful queen who both chastises and encourages her subjects. she loves her ladies, but she's absolutely relentless. waking up this morning and taking inventory of my aches, i realized that my hands, face and feet were the only spared parts. rolling out of bed was brutal.
in spite of my wimpiness, though, it felt nice to be in the company of twenty, sweaty other women for a couple of hours. placing ourselves in ridiculous poses for the benefit of our bodies makes us all pretty vulnerable, but everyone was in it together--flab, masochistic grimaces and all. not only socially acceptable, but socially connecting. i'm still not in love with the whole gym deal, but i do plan on dragging myself out of bed to go back.