July 7, 2012 by rapoulson
This was not the GIF I was looking for, but this is a really excellent GIF, so you know, I went with it.
There’s this moment a little bit earlier in the episode (HBO’s Girls “Welcome to Bushwick aka The Crackcident”, in case your TV obsessions don’t line up with mine) that goes something like:
Hannah: It’s not like I’m going to go hang out with my bike friends, I’m wildly unpopular
Marnie: No you’re not. It’s some myth you have about yourself, like that you have to get 11 hrs of sleep every night.
Hannah: I do! Ever since I had Mono!
It goes something like that. It definitely doesn’t go exactly like that, and apparently I’m the only one that thought it was kind of brilliant because I couldn’t even find it transcribed online.
Until fairly recently, one of the myths I had about myself was that I was bad at running. This was pretty freaking silly. I don’t have any major injuries. I live in New York, I walk everywhere. I’m that weird girl who likes the rowing machine, I spin, I’ve wasted many, many hours watching television on the elliptical. Cardiovascular exercise is pretty much my favorite way to avoid the reality of my life.
But running always seemed too hard. If you run outside there are bugs and weather and old men in lawn chairs catcalling you. When I ran on the treadmill, I’d get tired way faster than I would on the elliptical and my headphones always fell out of my ears. I’d finish and the calorie counter on the treadmill would always be lower than it would have been if I was on another machine, which just boggleth the mind.
And then I got new headphones (you guys, they’re super nice) and there were only treadmills open at the gym. And there was an episode of Las Vegas on and Josh Duhamel’s ass is truly spectacular. So I started running. And I kept going. And I’m kind of into it. And screw the calorie counter, those things are full of shit.
So now I run sometimes, not all the time, but I don’t have that mythology in my head that I’m “not a runner”. I do a really long run before work on Saturdays while watching a truly terrible movie (Last week was John Tucker Must Die, the week before was Bride Wars). In the fall, I’ll move outside. I’m really glad that I run now, because that means that if I’m ever too broke for the gym or move to some elliptical-less part of rural Indonesia, I’ll still have some form of cardio. And I need cardio, it’s the most responsible way to numb your brain out. If I didn’t have cardio, I’d probably have an Elvis level quaalude problem.
I think we all have fitness myths about ourselves. You know that saying about how we only use 10% of our brains? The same is probably true of our bodies. Maybe it’s a higher percentage, but very few of us ever explore anywhere close to the full scope of our body’s capabilities. Currently, the yoga mythology I’m dealing with is “I can’t do Adho Mukha Vrksasana.”
And maybe Kanye’s wrong. I totally respect everyone’s right not to invert if that is what they so chose, and I’m not advocating that you go around handstanding recklessly and break your neck. But for me, I know that I can do a handstand, if I choose to get up, I’m totally solid. But there was a long time where it wasn’t a consistent part of my practice and there are some days when I’m just like “That is not a thing I can do, imma put my legs up the wall.” It’s about focus, it’s about vishti, it’s about dissolving your own mythologies.