I’m on this kick right now where I like to use these words to specify what I do, so that when people say “what do you do,” I have a quick answer. I try to make these words as simple as possible, and use as few of them as possible.
So I don’t just say “I go to the gym.” Instead, I say “I go nowhere for a while, and then I push things away from me and pull things toward me.”
And that’s pretty much it. I work out on the elliptical for a while. Then I do seated bench presses, and seated rows.
Then I’m done.
I realize that as I write this experienced gym rats immediately are crying out that I’m not doing nearly enough. I should doing crunches. I should be doing standing military presses. In other words, there are scads of muscles, most of which I’m not even aware of, that I should be working out.
And to these people, I say once again: I go nowhere for a while, push things away, and pull things toward me.
I don’t use heavy weight when I push things away from me and pull things toward me. Instead, I use the lightest weight, and do whatever I’m doing a whole lot of times. I’m told this tones up my muscles, as opposed to building them up.
I also read that exercises that target specific areas also have residual benefits. In other words, if I keep pushing things away from me and pulling things toward me, the benefits will supposedly spread from my arms to the rest of my body. Supposedly.
And I do imagine that considering that I’m moving my legs back and forth for a time my legs will get toned. They will not be rippling with muscles. They will merely be toned.
I will not have six pack abs. All I want is to have stomach that doesn’t stick out quite so much.
I often wish I had developed this fitness goal a lot earlier. In fact, I often wish I had developed this goal for a lot of things.
For so long my writing goal was to write great things. I agonized over my writing. I wrote many, many journal entries about how I wanted my writing to be great. Because it often wasn’t great, I didn’t put any of it out there.
Then I changed my goal to this: write something for the purpose of putting it out in the world, and just make sure that it doesn’t stink. No further goal, just make sure it doesn’t stink. I had this faith that if I kept writing things that didn’t stink, then sooner or later the fairly good writing that I did every day would kind of work its way into my future writing, and tone it up.
Same with my music. I just put things up there where I listen to them, and say “hey…this doesn’t stink.”
And lately I try to live my days that way. I try not to expect much, just that the day doesn’t stink.
This morning, I’m going to The International House of Pancakes with my Dad. I like this. We have breakfast together, talk, and occasionally I remind him that I think he’s a great Dad, and he reminds me that he thinks I’m a great son.
It doesn’t stink. And in fact, there are times it’s great.
So that’s it. I try to create things that don’t stink. I read books that don’t stink. I listen to music that doesn’t stink. I watch movies and TV shows that don’t stink. I do an exercise routine that doesn’t stink. I live days that don’t stink.
It doesn’t stink.