What I Talk About When I Talk About Pedaling the Elliptical*

So I joined a gym, here’s a few things I’ve learned:

What’s good about the gym is no one talks to you.

Never judge another’s program; never judge yourself against another’s program. Basically never compare programs.

It’s hard to let Jesus into your heart if you don’t want to feel pain all the time. I’ve been trying to pretend I live in a cave because anything else hurts. I don’t want anyone to talk to me. People are painful.

My neighborhood is filthy in the morning. Really dirty. Also smelly if the wind is blowing the wrong way off the waste treatment plant. I finally understand those NIMBY people.

If you fill your days with habits and routine, they slip faster past, and while you may feel personally fulfilled, you won’t have returned any calls, or emails, and you will generally feel the crushing weight of instant communication.

Clean your gym clothes. Also clip the ear bud cable to your shirt or the swishing of it against your clothes will deliver an unpleasant undercurrent sounding noise.

I need new sneakers.

Being healthy doesn’t make you a good person. It just makes you healthy. Being a good person is way harder than working out. Bettering the self is not what makes you a good person. I think being a good person has something to do with trying to soothe the pain around you. The body may be a temple, but it is where light lives, not the light itself. It’s the light that makes you strong.

Your kids know exactly who you are, even if you try to be someone else for them, someone stronger, more stable, someone who’s made better decisions. The kid knows who you are. If you try to be someone else for them, they will try to be someone else for you. Know your kid, be yourself, your kid forgives your flaws, and has his own, too.

Drink lots of water.

Clean up after yourself.

The cleaning lady doesn’t want to talk to you. She works at the gym because no one talks to her. She likes that.

I know it’s just rote when the curly-haired 23 year old tells me to “enjoy your workout,” but I’m choosing to believe the fantasy that she really means it.

Wanting new sneakers and needing new sneakers are hardly the same thing.

There’s only enough time for everything if you shut everything else out.

Knowing about all the horrible things happening in the world does not increase either my ability to do anything about them or my understanding of the horribleness of which mankind is capable, which history has taught me is exponential. This is why when, years ago, my Gramma Dag told me she wasn’t going to read the newspaper anymore and I thought she was heartless, she was in fact heartfull.

There’s a reason it’s called artWork.

Prioritizing when being pulled in several different directions is difficult. I didn’t know that what I needed to do was hunker down, put on some blinders and noise-cancelling headphones, and power through. Rules are not a hinderance, they are a help, they are meant to guide, not restrict. If they restrict, make new rules, but if they guide you to faith, to clarity, to caring, then keep them. Today my rule is: write the play; nurture the son; ask for what I need.

*homage to Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Yes, I’m reading the new one. Yes, I love it. I’m reading it slow so it lasts longer.

The lady next to me on the subway was watching the news on the way to work. That man on her phone is in agony.

The lady next to me on the subway was watching the news on the way to work. That man on her phone is in agony.

I'm working with Michele Travis and Kelly Stuart to make a short film, and this is right after Jim accidentally knocked Anna's contact out of her eye during a kiss!

I’m working with Michele Travis and Kelly Stuart to make a short film, and this is right after Jim accidentally knocked Anna’s contact out of her eye during a kiss!

I was the only one on set with an assistant, so that was super special.

I was the only one on set with an assistant, so that was super special.

I was the boom op!

I was the boom op!

Kate the make-up artist and Kelly the cinematographer listening to the endless helicopters, while we paused for helicopters.

Kate the make-up artist and Kelly the cinematographer listening to the endless helicopters, while we paused for helicopters.

 

C and I went to the Brooklyn Museum and he kept asking "can I sit there?" and finally we found a spot where yes, he could sit. So we sat.

C and I went to the Brooklyn Museum and he kept asking “can I sit there?” and finally we found a spot where yes, he could sit. So we sat.

Weighing the relative merits of a giant Aztec inspired medallion made out of corn.

Weighing the relative merits of a giant Aztec inspired medallion made out of corn.

The best part was the fountain.

The best part was the fountain.

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