13.1 And 26.2 Will Never Be My Numbers

by Amanda Magee
Originally Published: 

Other moms will look at me and say, “Are you a runner?”

Usually I’ll say, “Sometimes I run.”

That answer doesn’t satisfy them as they look at my muscular arms. Genetics.

There was a really long period of time when I tried all of the workouts du jour—interval training, kickboxing, combat classes, yoga, Pilates, zumba. I thought that I needed to be doing something that would give me intros like, “Today at CrossFit…”

I have felt guilty for not doing hot yoga and wondered if I should try the Barre method.

Then I snap back to reality. I can’t do hot yoga, heat makes me feel claustrophobic. Can I do cold yoga? Is that a thing? And Barre method, that refers to the ballet bar, does it not? I had one stint in ballet class when I was in sixth grade and it was not pretty. Dancing isn’t for me. Yoga is okay, but I don’t think I’ll ever have a practice. That’s alright, but I still get awkward about the preoccupation with which workout I do.

“Do you do triathlons?” they ask. I shake my head. “Were you a competitive swimmer?” Another head shake.

© Courtesy Amanda Magee

I want to squeak out, “I don’t do anything. I just move around and sweat.”

They look at me with consternation. “Then what do you do?” I stammer, because the truth is the only verb that really covers it is “Amanda.”

I Amanda throughout the whole day. I skip in the hallway if no one is around. I balance on curbs. I park my car really far away from wherever I am going so that maybe I can balance or skip some more. I like moving, not for anything competitive, but because I like the feeling of being slightly winded.

I’m not sure when fitness became one more thing that we discuss and compare, like childbirth or our sex lives. Haven’t we all learned that what works for one person isn’t guaranteed to work for another?

There will never be a bumper sticker for the kind of workouts I do. When I really think about it, I don’t even like bumper stickers. I like feeling good, and I want that for everyone. Can we just let whatever we do be enough and high-five one another for feeling good?

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