Still Not Mopey

February 10

So I feel like one of those Barbies that have had their limbs broken and then fixed awkwardly by 11 year olds. Almost where they should be but having just a strange look to them – and I imagine this is how it would feel. If of course Barbies could feel.

Or like a yo-yo that’s wound up too tight. My muscles need to be stretched out, like an old coat or rug. Man, there I go again, what is up with these similes!

So I joined the gym. It was like that episode of FRIENDS in which Chandler gets Ross to help him quit his gym membership but ends up with Ross joining instead. And I could see the Game Theory 101 chapter I had recently read come to life: the finely chiseled-jaw man pointing out to me why I should join that very day. Incentivizing, seizing upon my “costly signals”, and me handing over my debit card to him.

$43, and a free one session with a trainer who measured everything from the circumference of my arms to my body fat – 27.5% of my weight is just fat.

Positive reframing: only 27.5% of my weight is fat!

Now that I’ve invested money into this becoming fit, stronger, and healthier business, I think I have more incentive to go to the gym. Been there twice. And it was actually fun; I can jog on the treadmill for almost 20 minutes without slowing down. That is an achievement, yes, it is. And then it cracks me up to go over to the weight-lifting part of the gym where I pick up 5 kg dumbbells while all around me are guys who are lifting weights that weigh as much as me. And more. But it makes sense, because they have arms as wide and big as my entire waist. Why they have these waist-sized arms, I’m not sure off.

Then there is always at least that one person in the gym who looks worse off than you – maybe they’re wearing jeans, or walking on treadmill at a pace that is so slow you have to control all impulses to jog over and just push the Up/Higher button a little bit. Or maybe they’re just quite heavy. I know, that is an awful thing to say but I feel like as a social worker in America I am always so conscious about the things I say that sometimes I just need to say mean things to feel normal.

I am so happy it is the weekend! Even though this semester I have more time than I had anticipated – which is why I joined the gym.

And working with middle school kids from so many different origins is just great. I’m finally applying my positive reinforcement, motivational speaking, listening and rephrasing skills! And yes, some of these sixth and seventh graders scare me and make me more nervous than Aasim Sajjad (oh how I miss you, Aasim Sajjad), I feel like I’m learning. Then there is always that one adorable, shy kid with long lashes who says sweet things like “sorry” every time he mispronounces words that begin with the letter P. And every now and then you get a genuine smile, or something like a “that was the most fun I’ve had all day in school” and my heart warms up and I’m all set for the next week.

And of course, TGIF. It’s Bollywood Nite and I am ready for some cheap Indian music!


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