on exercise

our days II

Why we Americans always have to make things so hard on ourselves, I do not know.  It seems we are bent on turning all natural pleasures into chores.  We exercise because we should.  Because it is good for us.  But I spend most of my day with children, who are not moved to move by virtue or discipline, but by enthusiasm for their bodies.  And for life.

I can’t make myself do anything by telling myself I should, and I never want to learn how.

Being with Reed and Helen, being in my own post-pregnant body that is once again able to run and jump and all other manner of miraculous things, has rekindled an enthusiasm in me.  I find that I want to move and try new things and flop to the ground to rest.  It’s a wonderful, hearty feeling.  Where did that enthusiasm ever go?

I wish we were never told exercise.  I wish we were told to cultivate the pleasure of  impressing children with jump rope tricks, racing for no reason and with no care for who wins, the wind on our faces when we ride a bicycle, the feeling of a good stretch.  I wish we were told to be proud of our legs and arms and back and fingers and feet.  I wish we were told to find play and pleasure every day.  All the time.  As serious grown-ups and everything.

I can’t make myself do anything by telling myself I should, and I never want to learn how.  And I am beginning to think that enthusiasm for life and enthusiasm for our bodies are not very different.

(If I were inclined to have an exercise routine, it would be something like this.)

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