tfw: You Talk Yourself Out Of Working Out

tfw is a mini personal essay series I’m try to do on Tuesdays to recount second-person experiences of feelings and experiences we all have. Or maybe I’m the only one who has them?

You woke up early. Not that much earlier—twenty minutes before you usually wake up, around 6:30AM—so you can work out. You were already awake too because your dog had rustled you up with her tail. You lay, staring at the ceiling: do you have to work out? You close your eyes and repeat: do you have to work out?

You roll out of bed, tumbleweeding yourself to the floor with an inadvertent push-up. You land on a pile you excitedly made the night before—a night where you hadn’t had an alcoholic beverage and where you were in bed by 10:30PM—for the purposes of working out. They’re cute spandex shorts and a tank top. You only get to wear these when you work out. You slide them on, slowly, still asleep. You don’t feel like you look as cute with the clothing on as you thought you would: they looked better as a pile.

You step on your running shoes. “Do I have to wear these?” you think. “I need new shoes. Working out would be better if I had new shoes.” You slide the sneakers on, one foot at a time, as slowly as possible. You don’t tie them, instead shuffling to the bathroom. Your dog jumps and moans at you: she wants to go out.

“I should brush my teeth,” you think, grabbing your toothbrush. You bare your teeth to yourself. You inspect your gums. You massage your gums with your toothbrush before applying toothpaste. You smile again. You turn your face in profile—left, right, left, right—and smile again. You apply toothpaste. You brush. You give every tooth its moment for cleanliness. You spit out pasty, foamy spit. You smile to yourself. You put your face under the faucet, gargle water, and spit it out. You stare at yourself. You look at the clock: it’s been twenty minutes already.

“If I’m going to work out, I need to do that now,” you think. “But, first, I need to use the toilet.”

What do you need to do on the toilet? You’re not sure. Do you have to do anything? You’re not sure. You shimmy your spandex off and sit down, phone in hand, and stare at its warm face. You unlock it. “I should read the news,” you think as you open a news app. “This article looks interesting.” You press a story about breastfeeding and aging, which is something you distinctly do not care about and does not affect you at all. You read it in its entirety, all 2000 words.

You look at the clock. “Shit,” you notice you’ve been up for an hour. Your dog is still jumping and yapping which, somehow, you’ve ignored. “I have to be in work in thirty minutes plus I have to shower and maybe have some breakfast,” you lock your phone and nudge your sneakers off with your toes. “I don’t think I have time to work out.”

You quickly pull up your spandex and find some sandals. You leash your dog up and step outside for a walk. “I’ll walk an extra block, since I’m not going to be able to work out.” You pass a few sweaty people in workout clothes, a runner or two jogging around a corner. You smile as they pass, in your dry workout clothing, and continue walking your dog. You consider walking that extra block but turn around.

“Shit,” you think. “Forgot I have to be into work early.” You turn around and walk home quickly.

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