I just came from my morning run. Today, again, it was a walk, because I had a lot of things that I was thinking about, and it is impossible run and think at the same time.
I’m in the midst of sorting out two very different articles for two different publications. I figured out my angles yesterday, and today I’m moving around the blocks of information in my head to create the story. I’m in a good mood, because I know where I’m going.
Along the way, I half-listened to Slate’s culture podcast. I waved at the 80-year old Martha and Bill Finch’s grandmother who take their walks every morning, chatting the whole way about grandkids and their husbands’ gout. They will go back to Florida, when the snow falls and whenever the state gets power again. I stopped to chat with the three-year old twins who proudly showed me their pink name tags that they got at nursery school. Seven bold deer on the appropriately named Deerhill Road tried to stare me down, and the wild turkeys awkwardly squatted in front of a pretentious house with French doors.
I’m pretty lucky. I know that I am. Once I figured out that being a freelancer who works from home meant that you really had to exercise every day to keep your marbles — and alright, I’m an idiot. I only figured that out last April — I’ve been either doing a morning spin class, running, or walking for an hour about six days a week. I have the time and this idealic neighborhood to run around in. I belong to one of those $20 per month gyms – nothing fancy – but it’s clean and the classes are free. The spin classes are packed with cool women. I don’t actually know their names, but I know how many kids they have, what grades the kids are in, and where they went on vacation last month. On days, when it’s just me and the computer all day, it’s a good thing to interact with real people.
In the past few years, I’ve spent more on sneakers and tights and all. But it all gets used a lot and keeps my knees in working shape.
I did four 5K races this summer.
But by some people’s standards, I’m a slacker. It’s not unusual to meet women at the gym or jogging along the path by the river who exercise for five hours a day. They have long sinewy arms and sunken eyes. Driving to Ian’s high school last week, which is adjacent to the richest zip code in New Jersey, we passed dozens of high-end gyms that boasted high intensity spin classes where the instructors yell at you until you pass out. I see a lot of eating disorders among middle-aged women at these gyms.
We were talking about wealthy people in the last thread. Gotta add exercise to one of the characteristics of the super wealthy. But I suppose that isn’t new. From Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities:
The phase pops into his head at that very instant: social X-rays … They keep themselves so thin, they look like X-ray pictures … You can see lamplight through their bones … while they’re chattering about interiors and landscape gardening … and encasing their scrawny shanks in metallic Lycra tubular tights for their Sports Training classes.