I now have barbells instead of a right hand.

It’s no secret that I hate working out. With the exception of riding my bike, which I don’t do often enough, I have yet to find a single physical activity that is not like pulling teeth to make myself do. While it’s obviously my business what I do with my body and while I still believe health is not a moral imperative, I’ve decided that I’d like to be able to climb a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. Also, despite my best efforts at body acceptance, I’m approaching a weight I am no longer comfortable with.

For me personally, taking care of my body seems like a grown-up attribute, whether due to a sense of responsibility for my health or the simple sense that my body is starting to decay as part of the inexorable march towards death. To that end, I’ve decided once and for all to try to find a way to exercise that I do not totally hate. My doctor says you need at least 90 minutes of cardio a week, so I’m going to try to start out with that.


Maybe this is cheating because I’m being paid to write an article about it, but I attend a free workout class with Bon Iver‘s trainer Jeff Rogers in the park and I don’t hate it. There are arm lifts, squats, lunges, and lots of running in place. I feel pretty tired and awful by the end of it, but not without a sense of accomplishment.

Workout time: one hour


I take a walk with my roommate to Bushwick to go get her bike, then ride a little ways to McCarren Park, then up to Greenpoint, then back home to Williamsburg. Sure, we stop to get tacos and micheladas, but I’m hoping all the bicycling cancels that out.

Workout time: half an hour


I am so tired, you guys. I had to turn in two articles yesterday and all I want to do when I finish work is make dinner and watch Velvet Goldmine on Netflix while sealed to the couch with Super Glue (which makes things awkward when I have to pee). I can’t exercise all the time, okay?

Workout time: 0 hours


Determined to make this work, I put on the workout DVD that Jeff Rogers gave me and do his 15-minute “body weight”/cardio workout with my roommates. Then we do the 7-minute abs one. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but I am dead tired by the end of it. I never knew 22 minutes could feel this long. My roommates definitely make it more fun, though. Even/especially when we try to use the squares on the floor to do a “speed ladder” and keep bumping into each other.

Workout time: 22 minutes


I really, truly mean to work out today, but I’m so tired I fall asleep right after work and wake up with a start to remember I’m supposed to go meet up with my favorite alt-lit wunderkind/internet buddy Marie Calloway at a reading. I go to the reading, and then the after party, and then drag myself home to bed.

Workout time: Nada


I get up and work for eight hours straight, taking no breaks. I think about doing the tape again for the purposes of this post, but that would make me late for my booty twerking class, for which I have high hopes!

TOTAL WORKOUT TIME SO FAR: 1 hour, 52 minutes. Not bad for a beginner?

I haven’t totally failed at this, but I still have some questions.

Question 1: I am very busy. How do all you exercisers out there fit exercise into your busy schedules? A lot of the time, I have to rush to finish work just to make it to whatever I’m doing that night, leaving zero time to work out. Working out also takes an inordinate amount of time (in the form of showering/blow drying my hair) and planning (can’t be too hungry or too full, or I will feel sick). How do you negotiate these things? And don’t say “get up earlier,” as I feel like shit when I get up any earlier than I need to. I AM A CREATURE OF THE NIGHT.

Question 2: Why am I so tired all the time? Well, I’ve got a chest cold that seems to be dragging itself out into an infection of some sort, which is definitely part of it. I’ve also been working my butt off. (Unfortunately, not literally…my job involves sitting on my butt much more than it does working it.) They say exercise is supposed to give you more energy, but I have never found that to be true…I always feel tired and crappy after I exercise. But maybe I just need to do it more?

Question 3: I am going to make this an ongoing series, so I ask of you: what physical activity should I try next? This is one of the only times it’s not bitchy to tell a blogger to start going to spin class, so go nuts. Maybe I will even go to YOUR spin class!

To be continued…