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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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I Like to Move It Move It

Cue the dancing lemurs!

Would I work out almost every day if it made me fat? Um, no. But this week's New York Times article this week about why New Yorkers are skinny has had me itching to comment. The author makes several valid points, but lest anyone think that the only reason we New Yorkers exercise is to look hot in our designer duds, I submit the following:

Like some of the interviewees, whose honesty I applaud, of course I work out to keep away unwanted pounds. And of course I work out so that I can eat without agonizing over every calorie. But there's so much more to it than that.

I work out because it makes me feel good. I have more energy and more happy endorphins flowing on the days I work out.

I work out because I enjoy challenging myself and seeing what my body is capable of. Strength training in particular is incredibly gratifying. The more you do it, the more you can do. That's just cool.

I work out because awesome people work out. I am regularly impressed and inspired by those sweating alongside me in classes around the city, and I've made great friends (particularly in kickboxing classes for whatever reason).

Adult life does not come with recess, so working out gives me an excuse to put some play in my day. Yesterday, for example, I took a surf lesson with the Adventure Society (more on that later). This morning, I'll be taking a static trapeze class at the Trapeze School. Wednesday, work permitting, I'll be checking out Lululemon's new running club which is open to anyone who wants to go run in Central Park. These things are fun.

The author sees people of various physiques working out in Central Park and comments on New Yorkers' "willingness to exercise in public" as though exercise were some kind necessary evil that we endure because we prize physical appearance and skinniness above all else. Maybe I'm crazy, but it looks to me like those people are having fun, even those who, as the author puts it, "jiggle."

Whatever your primary motivation is for working out, I sincerely hope you're enjoying it, too. And if you haven't yet found your niche or the activity or class that gets you psyched, don't stop looking. Life's too short to spend on a treadmill (unless, of course, that floats your boat). I'll be out there experimenting, and I'll keep you posted.

-Gym Belle-

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