“What’s your why?” the trainer asks. We are halfway through a complimentary fitness consultation.
Hmmm…Overall Health? Disease prevention? Not having a tourniquet around my stomach when I sit in pants?
Any of those reasons could have done as my why. Come to think of it, all of them should have been the why. And yet, they didn’t seem to answer the question.
“Working on that,” was my reply.
“The why is important,” he says, before ushering me to the weight station.
I was a journalism major in college. I am well versed in who, what, when, where and why. In school, the why was the nucleus to which facts radiated. The why was all that mattered back then. If facts were the cardinal directions, the why served as the compass. I was a pioneer discovering truth.
Now as the world picks teams based on versions of facts, the whys rendering us all for or against; clarity has left me.
Where did my conviction go? Not to mention my waistline.
A few minutes later I am standing in the full length mirror learning correct free weight form. It’s just me and him. The Why Guy.
He is fixated on showing me the proper way to lift weights. All I can see is the figure in the mirror and she’s most definitely not Jane Fonda—now or back in 80s exercise prime.
“Firm core, hips square, butt back,” he says, crossing the room to adjust the music.
What is the proper musical backdrop for a middle-aged weight-form challenged me? He picks Lizzo. I fight back a giggle and recommit to concentration.
Firm core, hips square, wait no…hips back, butt square…that can’t be right. I think it was hips square, butt back, firm core...yeah, that’s it. The words at least. I look absolutely ridiculous.
And that’s when: my why hits me.
“I’d like to take her seriously,” I say, to the me in the mirror. “But not too seriously.”
“Pardon?” the Why Guy asks, now back from the musical sojourn.
Having rejiggered my compass, it's time to clarify the facts. “I don’t get the butt back part.”
Don’t giggle. Don’t giggle.
This isn’t going to be easy.