Exercise: alone or with others?

This morning, before my husband woke up (but after the cats … they always wake up first), I went out in the back yard, and did my own cobbled-together version of a morning workout.

First, I held my arms straight out from my sides, and slowly brought them in, one at a time, to my chest, then back out. Rinse and repeat.

Then, I leaned over, and verrryyy carefully touched my toes – repeating, again, several times.


Finally, I started to walk, back and forth, between the back door of our house, and the tool shed out by the fence. It’s not very far, but a few times back and forth (dodging old bits of garden hose, and cats – always cats) is a nice way to get some cardio, along with the benefits of an unplanned obstacle course.

So when I saw that today’s WordPress prompt was “solitary,” I thought that might be a good word to describe my morning workout, as well as my exercise preferences in general.

I’ve never been much of an exercise class enthusiast. Oh, sure, I’ve occasionally browsed through Meetup looking for things like “runners near me,” “boot camp near me,” etc., but I never find one that meets my high standards – namely, that I can do whatever I want without anyone bothering me. Which kinda defeats the whole concept of “group exercise,” right?

Last year, I did try the Aqua class at my favorite 24 Hour Fitness location. (They have one of the increasingly rare OUTDOOR pools, which I love because I can float on my back and look up at the (usually) blue sky, and pretend I’m Elle Woods, floating around in my luxurious country club pool, waiting for my Margarita.)


Anyway, I decided, since I’d already been going there a couple of times a week and paddling around, trying to do pool exercises on my own, that it might be fun to try it in a more structured way.

Well, after 45 minutes of being stuck in a corner that was just deep enough to make me nervous (I can’t really swim), behind a row of veteran Aquacizers who were chatting nonstop about anything and everything BUT what we were all supposedly doing together, and trying and failing to hear what the instructor, way off on the other side of the pool was saying, I gave up, and went back to my solitary paddling the next morning.


Oh, and I went back a couple of weeks later, at a time when the class was supposed to be over, but there were still a few ladies there, getting out of the pool – and they recognized me and SCOLDED me for not coming back to the class! Good gravy Marie, can’t a person be antisocial if she wants to?

Long story short, I didn’t go back to the class, and kind of gave up on finding any class or group. To be honest, I guess I AM kind of antisocial, in the sense that I prefer going out and doing things by myself. Always have, and actually, when it comes to exercise, perhaps that’s the way to go, at least for now.

Funny thing is, I don’t have any problem with other people being around me while I’m exercising. I just don’t like them being directly involved with what I’m doing. Like yesterday, I went to the gym, hopped on the treadmill, and managed to stay on for a full 30 minutes (not including the cooldown). (I know, yay for me, right?)


And it didn’t bother me one bit that there were other people around. I’ve never been one of those people who agonizes about whether or not to go to the gym because “someone might laugh at me, boo hoo!”.

Guess what, sweetie, there’s always going to be jerks out there who’ll laugh at you no matter what you do or where you go. Why not just ignore ’em and do what you want to do?

I figure I’m paying the same amount for my gym membership as everyone around me, so if they have a problem with my flapping flab, tough turkeys!


I’ll tell them that, too, if they ask. So far, no one has.

Well, actually, someone did, once. I’ll tell you about that – and other “fat shaming” episodes from my past – next time!


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