I did that thing where you get yourself all worked up to work out and then you over workout trying to be a bad ass and you feel bad for the rest of the day.
Where I live there’s a reservoir with a track that runs around it. I guess it’s about 2.5 miles. I’ve been getting up in the mornings and running to Howard Stern. I learned back in college that the best way to have people leave you alone when you’re in a potentially vulnerable situation is to act like a crazy person. Trust me, nobody bothers a girl who laughs while she runs.
Plus I flush very easily. Apparently so did my grandmother and great grandmother, but from very minimal exercise my face and chest turn bright red, and I look like I have some severe cardiovascular problems. I’m fine; it just happens. But again, people leave me alone.
Anyway today I decided to be a supergirl bad ass and not walk the usual places where I take a breather and I pushed myself. Then I had to immediately shower and get dressed for a pitch meeting. Just like George Costanza, my shower “didn’t take,” and I was still sweating as I put my clothes on. So I cranked up the air conditioning in the car on the way to the meeting. By the time I got there, I was freezing. And now I’m feeling like I’ve got heat stroke.
This is all because I slacked for three days while I was sick and I started feeling bad about being such a slob. The house got messy and I couldn’t do very much before my ear was aching. Then I’d take a pain pill and conk out on the couch like Joan Crawford. I don’t even know if she did that. I just imagine Joan Crawford was always conked out on the couch, martini dribbling on her wrist as the other arm draped over her forehead. That’s how I’d like to look every time I passed out, instead of that classy move I do where I’m somehow on my knees with my head between them.
I used to go to Yoga classes at the school a block away from my house. I liked the place because it’s small and friendly, and not at all, “Yoga is here because Allah is good and now we will pant like lions and howl like wolves,” like some yoga classes can be. I went to one teacher’s classes in specific, because she reminded me of an old acting teacher, and I liked her philosophy: “We aren’t here because it’s fun; we’re here because it’s good for us. And it hurts and we sweat, but it’s not the hardest thing you have to do today, so try not to be a big baby about it.” She’d start the class with meditation and a reading, which sounds like the class was fruity, but it really wasn’t. The reading would be about stress or how we deal with pressure, and how yoga is the time for us to just be by ourselves, without any responsibility. I liked not talking for an hour, not having to write anything or do anything other than be quiet and move. After all that Billy Blanks yelling at me, it was a nice change.
I’d still be going to the classes if money wasn’t an issue as I was just bitching about yesterday, but I’ve found a small alternative. The Oxygen Network has a show called Inhale, and it doesn’t suck. It’s on twice a morning, and TiVo does its job and I can do an hour of yoga whenever. The teacher’s got a sense of humor about the whole thing, and not everybody’s too terribly Hollywood (it’s taped in the same studio that Six Feet Under tapes in. There’s a little Hollywood trivia for you, there). By that I mean the actor/athletes aren’t in full makeup and perfect hair. It’s been my little secret, lately. It’s Hatha yoga and I think it’s a pretty good workout. They do play the same damn music all the time, and the routines don’t change all that often, but it’s cheaper than my sweet little yoga shop until I get some cash again. It works for now. And since I shared my Billy Blanks luck with you guys, I wanted to tell you about Inhale. It doesn’t suck. And that’s pretty much my highest praise, isn’t it?
When I can’t get myself into a running mood on the days I’m not doing yoga, I punish myself by tackling these stairs near the reservoir. The street is at an angle so sharp that I almost feel like I’m walking horizontally until I reach the stairs. Then the stairs, they never end, and the only people that ever take them are working out. The people that live along those stairs, I’m sure they take their cars down to the street. There is no real reason that anyone should ever have to walk up such steep stairs. Once I get to the top of the hill there’s a very nice view, and that’s supposed to be some kind of reward. The first time I showed my over-enthusiastically-athletic friend Jessica those stairs she made us walk up and down them four times. Two days later my shins filed a restraining order against Jessica.
When I wanted to go walking at my last apartment, I usually had to drive somewhere. The hills over Sunset weren’t the safest, and there wasn’t a sidewalk around. So we’d walk up Runyan Canyon together. That link makes it sound like the place is just dogs rolling around digging holes on a putt-putt course, but the “added challenge” they only allude to is this incredibly steep hill. There have been times when we were climbing it where I thought, “Maybe I’ll just live here instead, on this little mound of dirt and this collection of bird dropping-stained rocks. It’s not so bad.” But at the very top of that is a giant bench that overlooks an impressive view.
I would only do those kinds of hikes with friends, as they seem more like events, climbing those places. It takes so long and you need protection from the wild dogs. I’m a little scared of dogs off leashes. Not everybody cares what their dogs do. Like kids off leashes in the store. I’m not down with that. Get off my cart, kid. Those are my Popsicles.
I think I have heat stroke. I can’t believe I just wrote an entire entry about how and where I exercise. I do think that every Southern friend of mine would like me to say here: “Gah, she’s so L.A. now.”
I’ll tell you what Southern people think “So L.A.” is: drinking water. Every single time I mention drinking water in front of Allison or Anna Beth they roll their eyes and go, “You’re so L.A., Pam. Why don’t you just go and drink some water with your sunglasses and then take a walk or something. So L.A.”
And then they complain to each other about how their skin’s getting all weird and they twist their ankles walking to the washing machine and they squint at each other outside, complaining about the glare.
You can’t win, either. If I try and defend myself, saying I only care about my skin, or I get pretty thirsty and don’t want nine beers, or that I have to exercise because Diabetes runs in my family, they’re just like, “Oh, and you’re snobby, too. You learn that in California, too? They teach Snobby Lessons at Second City? Get a nose job to be so stuck up?”
One time in Atlanta I wanted to go to the drugstore at the end of their block, and those two screeched at me, “You’re gonna walk? Take the car! Are you crazy? You crazy L.A. walkin’ girl! Whatcha gonna do on those legs, walk? You a walker? Ooh, Miss Big City Walker, that’s who she is. Walkin’ and drinkin’ water. Fancy water. Water that doesn’t have liquor in it. I bet that water didn’t come from no faucet, neither. Only fancy-priced water for Miss Hollywood, there. Look how she wears those sunglasses, afraid someone’s gonna recognize her. Maybe if you like privacy, you shouldn’t go out walkin’ so often! Afraid you gonna run out of water if you don’t walk to the fancy water store? She don’t have a swimming pool, she’s got a fancy water hole, that’s what that is. Miss Hollywood, with her yoga.”
Your friends, they want you fat. Don’t forget that. If you’re not fat, that’s one less thing for them to feel good about themselves for.
And now, I think it’s time for a strenuous nap. Seriously, I’m not feeling well. Maybe tomorrow I’ll ease off the stairs. Have a nice Southern exercise day of stretching in the sun and drinking gin and tonics. Lawdy, I do declare I might just be havin’ a meditation, right here.