Gross Corporeality

I write my blog posts after workouts in the morning — part of that whole time management thing I was going on about earlier. So here I am, trying to stop sweating in time to go take a shower and maybe smell better than the inside of a goat.

It’s gross. It’s grossly corporeal, mostly. This is my body at work, the one that I’m living in, with sweat rolling down my temple and sticking my hair flat to my scalp. I don’t really think about typing, except for the words that I’m trying to write, because my body is mostly stationary; but boy do I think about the rest of me when I’m working out. You’ll notice that it sounds like I haven’t worked out much in my life — that’s true. I’m good at stationary. I’ve been stationary most of my life (usually because I thought reading, writing, drawing, etc were more interesting than anything else out there), much to the consternation of my sister, who is the very opposite of stationary. It’s only pretty recently that I’ve decided to do a lot of things, consistent exercise being one of them, except that writing and exercising make me aware of my body — the way I take up space, the way my physical form exists in the world, I mean — in very different ways.

I’m sure, if you’re reading this, you’ve seen at least one amusing comic strip about the various ways that writers or readers configure themselves in order to properly go about their business. (My favorite is the RubyEtc comic.) How many times can I sit cross-legged on a couch and not have my leg fall asleep? How many times can I sit cross-legged on a couch, then go to stand and promptly sit down again because all of my leg has fallen asleep? The answer may surprise you!

But writing is still my body, stationary. Sitting curled up on a couch, crouching over my laptop and reaching out every so often for a mug of cocoa, that’s one thing. Cardio with sweat pouring down my face, or climbing a huge flight of stairs and feeling my legs start to holler at me, is something else entirely.

Honestly? The main satisfaction that I get from working out is the fact that I’m doing something to actively affect the world around me, specifically the organism that people call by my name. Digging a hole in the dirt to plant a flower is similarly very cool, because I was able to physically affect my surroundings. Groundbreaking! (Holding a printed proof of my book was really cool, you guys. I made this thing, and it’s out here in the world. I can only imagine the heady feeling Michelangelo felt.)

It’s little stuff, I know, but we only live once in this weird wide world, and every little bit counts. So get out there. I know how comfortable it is inside, but go. Do something. Make something. It’ll be messy but maybe it’ll be fun, too.

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