Showing posts with label running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label running. Show all posts

February 16, 2013

What do people think about while they're running?

I went to the gym again today, for the third time this week.  I haven’t really engaged in any kind of exercise since before my wedding…which was more than seven months ago now.  I am not much of an exercise person, really.  I love dancing, and walking to get somewhere, but the hampster-wheel stuff I can usually take or leave.  (I think, in fact, I've documented somewhere on this blog the one and only time I've had a true endorphin rush from running.  Once!  Clearly I'm not doing it right.)  I think regular walking is much better for you than sporadic, intense running anyway.  But for now I have to take what I can get.

I don’t scrutinize anyone too closely at the gym…mostly because I’m too busy trying to stay alive while running or stair climbing, but also because I’m hoping nobody is noticing me either.  Every once in a while, though, you see somebody who is working out really intensely… the guy or girl who has been on the elliptical machine for over forty-five minutes and who is going faster than anybody else in the whole row of exercise machines, including the people on treadmills.  There was a girl there like that today, with skinny arms and legs that looked like nothing but bone and muscle.  Of course, there are all sorts of body types, and I would never assume somebody has an eating disorder....because how else do skinny, super-fit people get to be that way besides vigorous exercise?   Every so often you see somebody, though, and you wonder.  Or I wonder…probably a side-effect of having worked on this book for years.  

Yesterday, I started comparing everyone’s demeanour as my mind wandered.  Mine: dreamy, resigned.  The girl next to me: annoyed.  The guys in the free weights area: a mix of swaggering, hopeful, joking, determined.

What do you think about when you're at the gym?  

I usually like to imagine I'm in some kind of movie montage where the heroine is suddenly getting fit and turning her life around.  It's a good time to cycle through goals and do some visualizing.  I did this a lot when I was trying to finish putting together the manuscript of Mother Superior before I started querying publishers.  I thought about what was still left to write.  I pictured the pages piling up.  I pictured somebody saying yes.  I pictured holding it as a book.  I imagined it getting reviewed in the Globe and Mail.  

Maybe everyone else is planning their novel, too?  Or their screenplay, their dissertation?  An impending breakup?  I wonder.