Here’s one of the things you’re supposed to do: exercise.

I know that. I know all about “healthy lifestyles,” watching your weight and lifting your weights and being cheerful and nine hours of sleep. There’s a bit of a hysteria in this brave new world of infomercials and obesity epidemics about weight, exercise and “healthy living.” Everyone’s got to meet all three of these standards, at least, and if you don’t you’ve obviously failed at life and should be shamed and tsk-ed at until you get your shit together and start being perfect, with the pre-approved body to prove it. I’m not going to try and comment on any of this, because, well, I’m not good at that sort of thing and I can’t say I know enough about this to feel comfortable ranting.

What I do know is that healthy living one of my big downfalls; one of my gaping moral failures (because, let’s not pretend that how much you exercise and what you choose to eat aren’t moralized nowadays, separated into “good” and “bad” and “persistent” and “lazy” and whatever else. Come on, now). But I know.

Now, I get a pass from society at large on the weight-stuff. I mean, yeah, normally, I should always put down the cookie in favor of the carrot stick. Except, as long as you can’t tell from looking that I’m eating cookies and not carrots, turns out it doesn’t really matter, after all. No lectures, no condemning stares; I’m allowed, and no one’s going to mention my supposedly allimportant health – that stuff just goes right out the window.

Not so with the exercising. Again, I fully realize and appreciate that I’m supposed to be spending X [hrs/mins] a [day/week] (depending on who you consult) lifting weights, and running in place, and tangled up in all sorts of machines as God intended. But I don’t. I’m told if I give these things a decent try, I’ll come to enjoy them. Because endorphins will go off in my brain, or something; after repeated testing of this claim, I’m unable to verify it. Lifting weights only serves to make me kinda tired, and remind me of all the things I’d really rather be doing.

I’m not saying exercise is bad; of course not. I think exercise is very good. But we need to ask ourselves what it really means to exercise, and we need to be careful not to mutate it into something ugly and unnatural. Here’s the thing; they keep showing up – at my schools, in my magazines, my TV and my internets, to tell me I should do things that do not make me happy, like this or this (links open new windows). Well, look at us: we’ve turned moving into a chore.

And, it isn’t. Your body wants to move. Your muscles are waiting. And they aren’t alone – your mind (your spirit, I could say, or maybe for those more religious among us, your soul) has stake in this too. The exhilaration of flailing with mindless abandon, or propelling forward through space. Or the concentrated serenity of exerting discipline –  acknowledging every muscle: like the God of your own body, asserting your absolute control over your physical realm. You should enjoy moving, and when millions of people groan miserably in anticipation of movement and health, we’ve done something wrong.

 So it’s time for Song of the Mo’ – Jump, Jive, an’ Wail, by the Brian Setzer Orchestra***. And everyone can just move.


*Or, the original by Louis Prima . (opens new window!! Exclamation points because I just spent fifteen minutes learning how to do this.)


*Also, it was really just time to end Total Eclipse of the Heart’s reign of terror as SotM…


*Personally, when it comes to music like this and I’m alone I like to pretend I’m in an ipod commercial.

ipod ad

But, uh, you can do whatever you’d like.