Many things about the present me would puzzle my past self, but perhaps the most surprising is that I go to the gym. I have in fact been so diligent in my gym-going habits that I have made other people feel bad in comparison. Gotta admit, this is really not a part of my self-concept. But it seems to be true.
By gym, I mean I go to the flagship McBurney Y on 14th St, ideally 3x a week, to walk and swim in the water. (I also do a quazillion stretches every day but won’t get into that.) Before I psyched myself up to first breach the Y’s doors in October of 2017, I probably hadn’t been swimming for 10 years. Happily, it’s like the proverbial bicycle and I’m back at it. It’s nice to move around without my knees complaining quite as loud. And to see such a wide range of other people move through the pool and the rest of the building, living their lives. (Sure beats a Tribeca Equinox.) And while I don’t quite feel the need to make friends at the Y, I do appreciate the familiar faces I encounter: the woman who used to try to get me to go to aqua aerobics class; the man I see many mornings who, when I once asked how are you, said something along the lines of, I’m good, and it takes a lot of effort!
Ah yes, another shocking fact. Sometimes (more than half the time, these days) I even go to the gym before work. *Youth self pulls the covers over her head, goes back to bed, while current self extols the virtues of early-morning exercise like a goddamn Y testimonial.*
Just as gratifying, though different, are the days when I hit the pool in the evening (it’s open ’til 11, after all). Like maybe it’s Friday and I am a grown-up now so I can go sit at a hotel speakeasy with a fancy spritz then hop the train down to the Y (“the train is not your friend!” I overheard; I disagree) and revel in the relative emptiness. Not totally empty though; late Y nights are not a secret. Someone must be reading all the testimonials.