by Susan Sey
We recently joined the YMCA, & the whole family is IN LOVE. Oh, yes. We love our Y.
For my kids, the love has a whole lot to do with an indoor swimming pool & water slide. For my husband, it's a structured time & place to work out that comes complete with a video screen six inches from his face.
For me, it's BOSU Boot Camp. Ever seen a BOSU? It looks like this:
It's a combination strength/aerobics class that works sort of like step aerobics, only instead of stepping up on a flat, steady bench, you step up on this squishy half-ball. The evil genius of this is that now, in addition to heaving yourself up there, you also have to balance.
The first time I took this class, I thought I was going to die. The next day I was so sore, I whimpered like a little girl every time I had to pick something up off the floor. But I didn't hesitate to go back. In fact, I actually looked forward to it. A workout that kicked my @ss under the supervision of an instructor whose only mission in life seemed to be making grown women cry? Ah, bliss.
But this is wrong, isn't it? Why would I love something that routinely hurts me? Why would I so enjoy not only finding my limits, but flagrantly violating them (hence the copious moaning upon arising in the a.m.)? Why would I do this to myself??
Well. I don't know. And as I don't invite pain into my life on a daily basis, I'm not overly worried about it. It's an aberration, but one that has ultimately improved my health so I'm okay living with the mystery.
But it did get me thinking about other things I love to hate. So here are, in no particular order, things that cause me significant discomfort and/or pain which I secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy:
1) Writing. Can I get an Amen? Maybe this is wrong, but I look forward to churning out the pages the way most people look forward to oral surgery. It's a rare day for me when the words just flow. Most days I have to psyche myself up for the hard work of battling back the blank page. I think it was Dorothy Parker who said she hated writing, but loved having written. That's how I feel exactly. I hate struggling through that first awful draft, but am utterly addicted to the high of having committed words to the page. Even bad ones.
2) Jogging. Half an hour of huffing & puffing & feeling all my wiggly bits wiggle? Not so fun. But putting on my jeans & zipping them without discomfort, even as I stare 40 right in the eye? Worth it. Every mile. And unless I'm planning to break my ice cream addiction some time in the near future (not going to happen, folks) it's an absolutely necessary evil.
3) Letters to the Editor of low-brow gossip rags. People Magazine is my favorite. ("I wish everybody would leave poor Tom Cruise alone!! He's a class act, & I wish him & his beautiful bride every happiness!!!! Tom, you can jump on my couch any old time!!!!!") I think it has something to do with the flagrant abuse of exclamation points, along with the unshakeable conviction that Tom Cruise gives one tiny little flip about what Sandi Neblowski of Wahoo, NE thinks about his marriage. It just kills me, but can I stop reading them? Can I skip them? I cannot. No, I not only read them, but I pick the most offensive of the lot & read them out loud to my husband, who I'm sure appreciates it.
So what about you? What do you love to hate? What do you feel compelled to do, regardless of logic, reason, or your better angels? Tell me everything!