Saturday Mornings Are For Regrets and Shame, Not Physical Activity
It continues to blow my mind that on any given Saturday morning in my parents neighborhood exactly how many people go running at 8 a.m. On the rare occasion that I do make it out of bed and out of the house before noon on a Saturday morning, I can promise you, it will never be to go for a run. But my parents’ neighborhood is something like the into sequence for the show, Weeds, which I can assure you, most suburban neighborhoods can relate to. Just in case you’re totally lost as to what I’m talking about, here’s the intro. (Blame pesky copyright laws that ban embedding of these videos for a way of linking to a video that is aesthetically and more visually pleasing.) Clearly that is an extreme version of quite possibly the least extreme way of life…
So when my body felt to need to wake the rest of myself up at 7:45 this morning, I figured I might as well leave for parents’ house sooner rather than later, which always leaves risk for potential guilt, one of the cornerstones of Indian parenting, because in this house guilt is practically a contact sport. As I drive into the neighborhood, I start to see them, all dressed in their little Nike running shorts and iPod armbands, and cant help but feel like throwing up a little in my mouth, as I think to myself, “Ugh, your athletic ability is painfully exhausting just to look at,” and following through with the ever-reasonable,”I get that you’re clearly more in shape than I am but do you really have to flaunt the fact that your dog probably is too?” Because no runner in this neighborhood is complete with a designer, hypo-allergenic dog that practically struts when it runs, and makes you realize that contrary to what logic would have you believe, it is definitely possible for a dog to make you feel bad about yourself. Forget that Victoria’s Secret catalog leaving you slightly uncomfortable with the thought of ever having to wear a bathing suit again, this labradoodle is just making me feel all kinds of bad.
On my drive, I notice a particularly fit older man, probably in his 60′s, getting his jog on. I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Okay, you’re clearly older than me and in better shape than I am and probably will ever be, I’m over you.” But then I noticed him start to bend over, and almost keel to the ground and I’m thinking, “Holy shit, I gotta pull over, this guy is clearly not okay, he’s about to hit the ground.” So I look down for a half second, to make sure my phone is near me, in case I need to call 911 for this man, and as soon as I look up again, you’ll never believe what I saw…
This man was doing push-ups! PUSH-UPS! He stopped running so that he could do push-ups! On the sidewalk! At 8 a.m.! On a Saturday! At the age of like 60-something! And sure enough, there was his smug little Labra-dood-a-pomer-almation, looking me down, like, “Yeah, that just happened, and by the looks of it, you should be doing some push-ups too, drop and give 100!”
That is the story of why my parent’s neighborhood gives me nightmares.
So what if I use my track shorts for chick-flick movie marathons, walks to class, and impromptu Whitney Houston sing-a-longs, and not for, you know, like actually physical activity.