27 January 2009

"I think we ought to only read the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy ,as you write?...We would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply , like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."

--Franz Kafka, Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors

17 January 2009

I'm a rockstar, I got my rock moves

I walked through the door with a specific intentionality in my step, or so I thought, and 4 bags in my hands: my oversized purse, my change of clothes, my left over lunch sack, and my bag full of papers and books. It was roughly 20 degrees outside, and after a 15 minute walk in the dry cold weather my hands had lost feeling due to my awful multi-tasking skills. I repeatedly try to catch up with friends and family on the way to the next thing but with the temperature dropping everyday I am becoming more and more aware that my hands do not want to be outside of my pockets, ever.

So with my failed attempt to catch up with mom, my hands numb, and my arms breaking from all the bags cutting into my veins…I climbed up two flights of stairs and scurried in the door. It was 6:07. I was late, of course. It took me a while to get out of the office and then a good 10 minutes to clear the buzz in my head in order to start thinking in “outside of work” mode.

James was waiting to meet me. I had no idea what James looked like. I rushed to the counter and said, “I’m here to meet someone…not sure, though. His name is Jack, I think.”

Mr. big muscle man turns to me and says, “It’s James, not Jack, are you ready to work out?”

It was overwhelming. People were everywhere swirling around me. Spinning, running, stepping, lifting, lunging, sit up-ing, and moving quickly to the next –ing. Yes, I have been to a gym before. I go to the gym, I love the gym. It was just different for some reason. I guess it has been a while (like last May) since I have been in a ‘real’ gym with the meat market section and all.

Welcome to Bally’s. New city, new job, new house, and new gym. Ah, I sure do miss the good ole’ Aggie rec, but on to bigger and better things, right?

I thought we would go head first in and start on the treadmill running till I threw up and then do some crazy ab work and who knows what else. Nope. Nada. James asked me to follow him into his office.

I was sick of being in an office. I wanted to move. I would have done 1000 jumping jacks or the dreaded StairMaster or just about anything instead of going into his office. James proceeded to become my worst enemy in a matter of seconds. Mr. James reached in his pocket and grabbed a tape measure and began to measure every inch of my body. Then, he determined that I have ___% body fat. Really? Do those little machines really work? I don’t trust that electrical current one bit.

Suddenly, I’m depressed. I mean ‘Emily’ hasn’t changed at all. I’m still the same—every piece of me still there, but I definitely felt different. Ignorance sure is bliss. Then worst enemy James sits me down and wants to talk about what areas I want to work on. I had to clarify, “Wait. Areas of my body?” Yep. Ha. This was going to be so much fun. I didn’t want to talk about my “areas”, I just wanted to sweat.

Oh, James...he never gave up. We actually became pretty good friends that night, spent about the next 2 hours together. I started to like him more and more. I realized that he could simultaneously be my worst enemy and my best friend.

Bring it on Bally’s. I’m ready for you.

Note: I do not have a personal trainer. James just gave me a one-time 30 minute session to “assess” where I am. Every new Bally’s member gets this. Its fun, in a “I would like to feel motivated and humiliated all in the same moment” kind of way.

09 January 2009

"Do not talk. Who you are thunders over you all the while so that I cannot hear what you are saying"