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Human Parts
A publication about humanity from Medium: yours, mine, and ours.

Fitness

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

Lived Through This

And why it took me so long to stop

I was 29 years old — old enough to know better — and I stood in the blue corner of the ring with my heart pounding and my gloves taped to my wrists. My headgear muffled the voice of my coach and the shouting crowd, though I couldn’t have heard anything over my own heartbeat. Why I had bothered taking pre-workout was beyond me — my adrenaline might as well have been rocket fuel. Fighting to slow my breathing, I clenched my jaw around my mouthguard, but I struggled to draw enough oxygen through my half-healed broken nose.


A meditation, with screaming parrots

A flock of feral, red-crown parrots zooms around northeast Los Angeles and Pasadena. Now and then, they settle in for a couple of days on a hill near my apartment. They scream in terrifyingly human voices. They are very, very loud.

There are all sort of stories about the original group from which these green-bodied alarm clocks descended: They escaped from an exotic bird preserve in Alhambra, California during a storm. They were all purchased from the fancy bird shop on Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village by some animal rights activist and released at Occidental College. …


To my own surprise, I’m an evangelist for a stationary bike

When I told my partner I was writing about my obsession with my Peloton bike, she texted this in reply:

“Serious journalist who covered the heights of business and politics now talks about her exercise routine. I can just see the tweets now.”

Look, I get it. There’s more important stuff going on in the world. It feels bizarre to me too that I’ve become an evangelist for a piece of home exercise equipment while democracy as we know it implodes.

Peloton, if you’ve never heard of it, is a stationary bike. Yes, an internet-connected, ultra-high-tech piece of hardware that…


I wanted to listen to my body — instead, I made it scream

Your body has stopped talking to you. For the whole summer, it hasn’t told you to sleep or eat or move or do anything at all. That has been your relationship with your body since you were young. You waited and it spoke to you, conveying information through pain and pleasure, reminding you to nourish it and keep your hinges loose. But then there was too much pain and too much information, and then nothing. You stay still for a long time.

You know that silence is dangerous. Sharks have to move forward to stay alive. You are not a…


On reconnecting with my body and quieting the chaos in my mind

In 2014 I started going to the gym. Not to get fit or lean or build muscle mass, but to burn energy. I was crawling with it. It felt like ants under my skin. Angry ants revolting against a tyrannical queen.

So, when vodka and all-night marathon painting sessions failed to quiet the manic chaos, I dragged my messy anthill ass to the Fairmont Hotel gym at the airport. I work at the airport, so this was convenient. I could go immediately before or after my shift. I developed a routine: stationary bike, weights, cry in the sauna, shower.

My…

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