Ever since someone, somewhere decided that instead of just being thin, women’s bodies should also be toned and strong and fit, I’ve been plagued by an overwhelming thought.
Yes, Mrs. Model on Instagram, you look very good in your active wear. Yes, you are very disciplined with your exercise. Yes, it’s very impressive that you have muscles where I don’t have muscles and can do all sorts of exciting things with your body. But to be honest… you kinda seem like a dick.
In my experience, people who are into fitness tend to:
1. Use language people don’t understand, like ‘dumb-bell’ and ‘dead-lifts’ and ‘rep-s’.
2. Wear fancy and expensive gear that makes them look like they're doing a modelling shoot for 'person at gym' rather than actually being a normal person at the gym.
3. Talk incessantly about their love of exercise and conveniently forget other things there are to love such as chocolate but also Netflix but also having a nap at 3pm because you're tired from doing nothing.
When I'm scrolling through Instagram, just wanting to see a few dog memes and maybe also a D-grade celebrity having a very public meltdown, the fitness person's photos of their toned abs and non-cellulite-y bum seem slightly... uncalled for.
In fact, Instagram Fitness Lady, if I'm being brutally honest, the videos of your gym workouts feel passive aggressive, your protein balls look wildly unnecessary and your before-and-after pictures come across as a little if not entirely indulgent.
That was my attitude, at least, until very recently.
You see, a couple of months ago I did a thing. A weird thing. A highly uncharacteristic thing.
I did an... an exercise.
First, it was just a promotional free training session at a nearby gym. Then, I did a reformer Pilates class, and another one, and another one. Next minute, I was running around my local park and before I knew it I HAD GONE TO KMART AND BOUGHT WEIGHTS AND WHAT I PRESUME IS A YOGA MAT AND HAD STARTED DOING WORKOUTS AT HOME.
I don't know how it happened, and I don't know why. But all of a sudden I'm very much into exercise and I can't go back.
It's like a drug. My muscles hurt and I feel super... proud about it. I think about working out all the time to the point where it's borderline obsessive.
I walk differently and I'm constantly telling everyone how sore I am. I drop into conversations that I went for a run or did Pilates or broke my planking record. I tell people weird details about my body and what I'm working on as though that's actually an interesting conversation for anyone to participate in. I yell at my boyfriend to BE MORE IMPRESSED BY MY SELF DISCIPLINE, PLS.
Then, the other night, as I was waiting for Pilates to start, I had this strange, inexplicable instinct to record an Instagram story.
I even knew that I'd caption the video: 'When you're early for your Pilates class on a Tuesday night and you don't know who you are anymore'.
But then I realised... that's a dicky thing to do. What a fkn humblebrag. What kind of dick would share that with all their friends? Surely I'm not... am I that dick?
It was last Saturday morning, as I was telling my mum about my fitness goals (kill me), that I could no longer deny it.
I've become the dick.
And I know why.
Exercise makes you a dick.
It makes you a dick because it makes you feel really... good.
My back doesn't get sore anymore. My posture is semi-improving. I'm getting more flexible and I feel like I'm investing in my own health or well being... or something.
I understand why people who are into fitness are so bloody annoying about it. Because the goddamn exercise is making them absurdly happy and enthusiastic and motivated. And they want to share that... gift. With others. And it's the worst.
It's highly likely that a few weeks from now, I'll forget about exercise altogether and get a new hobby, like puzzles. Or solitaire.
But if, by some miracle, this is just my life now, I can make one promise.
I will never use hashtags like #fitfam #goals #shredded #fitnessjourney #fitspiration and #gainz. Because that's a whole new level of dick I'm just never prepared to become.