Weeks go by and I cant’t get in the habit of a good routine, the type the glossy magazines proclaim and sure-footed high-heeled ladies all around me seem to engage in religiously. Little sticking power, I get demotivated easily. Is it because they go back to a home while I get back to a house (an apartment to be more exact)? Their lives are peopled differently, that’s why they huff with such determination, running the distance, tucking in their bellies. I settle for my little arsenal and jump when the phone rings, hoping it’s not my mother again.

But surely the rush, the feel-good adrenalin of physical involvement, wouldn’t hurt, and at the very least entail a folding out from myself, a moment away from self-consciousness and the list of failings and shortcomings I seem to go over every morning and well into afternoon, recounting and juxtaposing flaws in varied configurations.

Watch how they run on the treadmill, and sweat into their headbands, and look persistently ahead, savoring the sweat on their lips, repeatedly pushing the button: more speed, more uphill. The very same requirements the day to day makes of me, and to which I respond as I can, with slow steps, occasional boldness and retreat. Just a couple of days ago a fellow teacher commented, when I greeted him at a workshop, how easy it was to work with someone as cheerful. I guess I am a smiler, regardless, and as inescrutable as the sporty women who don’t miss a step.

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