Privacy Please, I’m Exercising Here

BlogHer Writing Lab – January Theme: Balance

January 28 – Prompt: Do you prefer to workout alone or with a friend?


Despite being extroverted, I find exercise to be deeply personal and private. It could be my anxiety. Maybe I’m a bit too much like a gangle-creature when I try to exercise. Maybe it’s my down time. Back in my running days, I would formulate whole stories while on a jog. These days, when I’m hiking, I do the same. I don’t like the distractions of others.

For whatever reason, I definitely prefer to be alone when working out.

I’m not exercising for anyone except for me. I still wear frumpy, loose clothes much of the time, even when I am relatively fit and trim. I like what my body looks like, most of the time, but only insomuch as it makes me feel like I’m in control of my physical conditioning. I don’t feel like anyone really needs to know the lengths to which I go to maintain muscle tone and dodge the impending muffin-top.

I mean, I’m 40-mumble years old. Who am I going to impress at this point? No one. At least not with my physical appearance.

With training, I can get my body to do things that the 19-year-olds in my classes can’t do, and I can protect myself if I need to. I don’t need to broadcast that. I don’t need to go to the gym and posture in front of mirrors to know that I can do a forward roll. (And I certainly don’t need to risk damage to my tender nasal lining with the scent of sweat plus testosterone that can be so thick at a gym.)

It can be fun to take in a workout once in a while with friends, but for the most part, I exercise alone. I do it for me.

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