[Previously I had a picture of a group of nazis when this post had been going to be about voting and avoiding turning America into a fascist nightmare from the 1930s. Then it wasn’t. I apologize to anybody who might have been offended or afraid of me.]
Okey-dokey. I have been working out in my gym now for more than six years. And six years is more than 300 weeks. That is a really long time. I have worked out alone and more usefully, I have worked out in group classes: first yoga, then Pilates, then spinning. All of these efforts teach us different things, especially if we are not looking to learn about working out physically but rather about writing.
Yoga is great for learning about how to manage your work for the long haul. As I have previously pointed out, my yoga teacher, Erica, made it very clear that pushing beyond what you feel you can comfortably do sometimes seems non-constructive. You work “harder” than you should in a short amount of time. That is how you hurt yourself, which then makes you lose time that you could be using to get stronger, better, all the things. To avoid these ideas, Erica would say things like, “Find your way into the pose. If it doesn’t work for you, pull back.”
That does not align with what I feel like we are taught in the United States and maybe in the Western world, and oh heck, maybe in the world. Work your f@@king ass off. The Protestant work ethic and the immigrant (read Roman Catholic ethnic) work ethic are functionally the same thing seen through different lenses. It still means that folks without privilege are encouraged by folks with privilege to work harder and harder to achieve even the slightest improvement in living conditions. Meanwhile, the more privileged live off the compound interest off their already invested capital, that invested by their fathers and grandfathers (and very, very rarely mothers and grandmothers).