I've been booking studio time on Mondays and Fridays, but since Speakeasy Circus has its last shows this week, I've skipped a Friday block. This bothers me. There might be enough room in the apartment for salchows for someone who's actually good at them, but I still swing my leg all over the place. I was considering whether I could get enough space if I moved some of the furniture around in my bedroom. I was even considering vacuuming, as if that's going to help. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that vacuuming and I get along like a house afire, in that my first instinct is always to grab my computer and evacuate the place while someone more qualified takes care of it.

I said before that this was unusual for me. I would like to revise that now to 'downright bewildering'. This happens sometimes when you set the self-monitoring program to run continually in the background -- it's like turning on User Access Control for your brain. On the whole, I'd really rather be aware of what's going on in my own head, but it does get tiresome having to click through two or three warnings on things just because you've downloaded them from the internet.

I am not very fond of moving for the sake of moving. I walk a lot, often hauling heavy things with me, because that's how you get from A to B when you don't drive. I rehearse dance numbers because then people will let me on stage. I gave conventional gym-type exercising a multi-month go once when a therapist -- who was trying to be helpful and failing badly -- insisted it would alleviate depression. Mainly what I learned from that is that treadmills are the physical manifestation of boredom. Also that it's surprisingly awkward in the exercise room when you're at that size where people can't tell if you look that way because you work out religiously, or if you're working out because you're insecure and don't realize you're already socially-acceptable as you are.

My childhood memories of athletics are not great. Phys ed classes in school were miserable. Everything is scheduled outside in Arizona, for starters. It's cheap to buy enough land for playgrounds and athletic fields at all the schools, and the population there is laboring under the delusion that if the sun is out, that means the weather must be nice. This is insane troll logic. There is nothing even remotely nice about any set of environmental conditions that result in temperatures of 100°F in the shade, at ten in the morning, in the middle of May. I can tell you exactly what heat exhaustion feels like, because I've slammed into it more times than I can count. The only reason I can't tell you what full-blown heatstroke is like is because it didn't take me very long to tumble onto the idea that if I just sat the fuck down and refused to continue, the only thing the gym teacher would do was threaten to call my mother. I don't remember that any of them ever did, mainly because by that point they all knew my mother, and would probably have rather eaten thumbtacks than voluntarily gotten on the phone with her.

I hated gym classes so much that I actually signed up for a year of Air Force ROTC in high school to avoid them. I couldn't learn sousaphone fast enough to join the marching band, and given that the alternatives were either having more dodgeballs thrown at my head or listening to a retired lieutenant colonel drone on about the history of aviation for an hour every day, my choice was obvious.

Dance classes one of the very few extracurriculars I never had to fight my mother on. She resented, loudly, having to ferry two children around hither, thither, and yon, so I eventually just quit asking, but she and her sisters danced when they were little, so apparently this was an acceptable activity. She actually worked at a studio in exchange for our tuition, when I was about kindergarten-age. Later on, my sister and I had semi-private lessons in tap and jazz.

I might or might not have been excited to go to dance classes at that age. I really don't remember. (I don't remember some fairly large chunks of my childhood. I suspect I'm better off.) It was less pleasant as time went on, but not because of anything to do with the dancing part. My mother has an insane tolerance for pain and discomfort, and serious problems wrapping her head around the idea that what bothers her does not necessarily bother other people, or vice versa. One of the few things my sister and I have ever agreed on is that if Mom says something 'doesn't really hurt', we don't believe her. She thinks that exercise doesn't feel satisfying or like an accomplishment unless you go at it until you're shaky and light-headed and thoroughly exhausted. I was embarrassingly old before I realized that I'm right to hate feeling like that, because those are symptoms of dehydration and hypoglycemia, but I didn't really get much of a contrasting viewpoint as a kid. I was a tiny bookish weenie child, so being pushed to keep going by the school PE teachers had pretty much the same effect -- I felt horrible and generally managed to hurt myself.

My mother was also not very good at listening to complaints. There was one particularly disastrous attempt to send both of us girls to an afterschool gymnastics class. Floor work was fine. I got somersaults, cartwheels, and roundoffs all right, although I was never great at sticking the landing on both legs, mainly because it hurts like a bitch. Anything involving heights was right the fuck out. You want me walking on a balance beam? Only if I can stare at my feet the whole time. You want me doing cartwheels on a balance beam? No. You want me swinging around on the uneven bars? No. You want me to let go and fling myself off of one of the above into the foam pit? Absolutely the fuck no. This was also scheduled such that by the time I got out, I hadn't eaten in something like seven hours. Mom relented only after the combination of anxiety and hunger resulted in me being violently carsick more than once on the way to class.

I just assumed I didn't like exercise. At some point I quit caring how pissed people got if I refused to do any. They might be able to force me, a minor, to show up to these things, but they couldn't legally threaten me with anything horrible enough to make me participate. I don't recall anyone ever trying to 'scare me straight' on the basis of health. Even doing nothing, I don't think I've ever climbed out of the 'normal weight' category on the blind-idiot BMI charts -- and they didn't get fashionable to point at until I was well over 18 and not subject to official interference, anyway.

I can make my body do things for practical reasons, and I can learn to do things to pass muster with a director, but this whole thing where I want to repeat the motions for the sheer pleasure of figuring out how they interlock is a new one on me. I do it all the time intellectually -- there's no real reason I need to speak German at the rats -- but it's never struck me with a physical activity before.

My brain has pulled so many dirty tricks over the course of my life that I'm automatically inclined to mistrust things that sneak up on me like this has. I keep turning it over, trying to figure out what the angle is, and what I could possibly fuck up by going along with it. And then I keep looking over at the open spot on the floor, thinking if I'm careful, maybe I can manage not to whack my toes against the bureau.

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