Saturday, September 15, 2012

STATEMENT OF THE OBVIOUS, first in a series

I hear it all the time -- just get up and move. Walk ten minutes a day, park the car two blocks away from work, take the stairs, et cetera et cetera et cetera. It's puzzling to the norms why fat people just don't get up and move.

It's time for a STATEMENT OF THE OBVIOUS! Add fanfare of choice.

Obvious -- if something doesn't feel good, you're not going to do it.

And for me the memories associated with exercise are shameful, hateful, hurtful. It's where I learned, in specific and exacting detail, all the ways I'm . . . oh, what're some words?


Circling the track at a huffing walk while everyone else jogs by over and over and over. A nasty ankle sprain caused by that sidestepping agility test. Getting smacked in the butt with a kickball and fleeing while the laughter ripples. Getting smacked in the face with a kickball and sobbing while the laughter ripples. Layup drills with scores of zero. Recesses spent hiding in the bathroom. Constant grinding knowledge that I'll be the reason my team loses, giving classmates yet another reason to despise me. Maxing out the scale in front of everybody. Avoiding the shower even though my skin is worn raw and stinging with sweat.

The catch-22 fat people face is that, although physical movement should be a source of pleasure, we associate it with shame and loathing. Our bodies fail us and our peers, therefore they are bad and worthless, ipso facto we are bad and worthless. To compound the problem, for some of us movement physically hurts. I've got a bad knee; walking for ten seconds is uncomfortable, never mind ten minutes.

In short, exercise brings me skin-to-skin with sensations and feelings so bottomlessly nasty they're hard to put into words. That's why, given a choice between staying home and playing Doom and ten minutes of limping around the neighborhood, I will probably stay home. One makes me feel good and the other makes me feel bad.

Honest, it's not that difficult a concept.

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