Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Muscle Stretching

There are some things in life that we seem to have collectively decided are morally superior to other things, based on no discernable standard that anyone can actually articulate. You know what I mean? Like, sometimes when I finish reading a book - and I mean, any book; like I could have just read the most mind-numbing, silliest book you've ever heard of - but still I will think to myself, Oh Maria. You have just bettered yourself. You just read another book. You are better. Think of all those people just sitting around! Watching TV shows about wedding dresses! How deliciously pathetic are they! YOU JUST READ A BOOK. YOU DESERVE A MANI-PEDI AND PROBABLY SOME PEANUT BUTTER ON A SPOON.

You know what I mean?

And then Aaron will look at me longingly, and go... oh Ria. I wish I read more, like you.

And I say... I know, my darling. My sweet, xbox-playing darling. But we readers are a specific class of people. Not everyone can get in, Aaron. Not everyone can get in.

I don't really say that, but don't you think it's weird that somewhere along the line both AB and I have learned that for no explicit reason, reading books is morally superior?

I'm not saying books aren't good for learning and for vocabulary and expanding your horizons and all that. But I'm talking morally - like, way down in the very juices of our most unique souls - are we more valuable if we read? Are we worth more, as a person? Are we worth less if we don't?

I've always thought the same thing about exercise. I go to the gym three times a week. I run and spin and do other things that I just hate. And oh, do I think I am wonderful.

I think people might think I work out because I like it. There are things about it I do like - mostly, how I feel afterwards. And if I'm having a good day, energy-wise, I like how I feel during it too. But most of the time, I HATE IT. I HATE EVERY SECOND. Can you believe that?

If I spent 4-5 hours a week doing virtually any other thing that I absolutely HATED, you'd probably call me crazy. "Maria! Why in the world are you watching Keeping up with the Kardashians AGAIN?" You know, that sort of thing.

But you know what I do like about it? How much better than you I feel afterwards.

And you! You think I'm great. You think I'm super disciplined. Because you have the good sense to have a good dinner with your husband and watch NCIS instead of spending a grueling hour trying to avoid throwing up again in front of the men's locker room.

I think I'm great too. Because I read. And I work out.

A few months ago I started praying while I was running, and I started saying, listen. Get me off this. I don't want my only motivation for this to be that I think I'm better than people. Because where does that even come from? Please remove whatever moral importance I've attached to this very a-moral thing and let me be.

I was scared to pray that, because I figured He'd do it, and then I wasn't sure if I'd have any motivation to work out at all.

And then last week my doctor told me I couldn't run or spin for at least three months due to some muscle issues I've been having.

Like, no running or spin. For three months.

So who am I now, and how do I know whom I'm better than?

This is why we need Him, you know?

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