Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Friday, May 09, 2003

Failure of the Day: Lessons

Just back from the YMCA after my lesson on how to use the weight machines. It strikes me as odd that I require such instruction: weight machines, as far as I can tell, more or less exist to make your muscles hurt, and I've never needed help hurting myself before. It's analogous to, say, if I were to have taken a class in my 20s on how to pick out the most inappropriate guy possible to sleep with. Some things just come naturally to me.

But all those painted metal bars and disturbing triangular seats…it's not the most intuitive thing in the world to plop down on a weight machine. I don't even know which way to face on most of them. (Wow, the "inappropriate guy" metaphor just keeps working.) And then there's all the "towel etiquette" in gyms, which brings up another whole category of things at which to fail…am I really supposed to be sweating so much on the seat that I need to put a towel down? I'm just not so shvitzy.

But still, now I have all the required expertise to use the Hip Abduction machine, so let's hear it for me. I've always wanted something to abduct my hips. It's nice though; it's been fairly easy for me to forget that I even have muscles, let alone be bothered to make them do stuff, but the truth is, those machines are so focused on some particular muscle group or another that it's kind of cool to feel each one in turn. I spend a good amount of time feeling the location and function of each of my organs (I have kind of an absurd level of body awareness), so it's only fair that I spend some quality time with the muscles. And I suppose in the long run it supposedly will help prevent me from keeling over from a coronary. And that's a swell thing to move a little lower on the list of things I have to worry about. Fucking up my novel now firmly occupies the #1 position, and imminent death slips comfortably into #2. Good job, Nance!


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