The Next Fitness Craze: Freeze Tag!

Have you ever joined a gym and filled out that section on the form where they ask you to tick off your reasons for coming to their establishment? The choices usually include things like "weight loss, stress management, aerobic fitness, strength or toning." The list may even stretch to "fun", or "bumping into work colleagues in embarrasing lycra", although I can't remember. It's been a while since I've filled one out. I do belong to a gym, but my corporate membership rolls over nearly automatically. And it has always been worth the money to me -- even when I was not doing any traditional sort of exercise. My gym's proximity to the office was useful for nipping over to do physio exercises. In recent years I've also used the pool to introduce swimming again. And who isn't interested in the occasional after-work or lunch time sauna?

But my recent decision to stop limiting my physical activities to Bikram yoga and the occasional swim, has made me start thinking again about exercise. And this time it's different. When I was in high school I exercised because I was trying out competitive sport (not particularly my forte). In my 20s it was what you did in New York City, you know, to avoid "putting on weight". Even when you were very thin. And I suppose, to try to deal with first-time-job stress and the terrifying idea of making your own way in the world (whether or not step classes actually help with this is still debatable).

But now, I have more experience and hopefully more wisdom, to really think about why I want to exercise. I don't know if it's my attempt at an epic clear out and determining which of my possessions spark joy, but I find myself pondering what kind of exercise it is that I actually want to do, or have liked most in my life. Friday night skiing at Greek peak in my university days, the Bikram floor series (possibly because it is after the standing series and involves lying down), swimming off the back of the boat in the Mediterranean, snorkeling in Key West, dancing, summertime tennis, ping-pong, and of course golf, clearly the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

But some of the activities that pop into my head are those from my childhood, like riding my bike on summer Sundays when the Bronx River Parkway was closed to traffic, jungle gym climbing, any kind of swimming in any kind of water -- including underwater handstands and somersaults (of course!) and freeze tag. Who doesn't like freeze tag? In fact, I am sure it will soon be appearing as the next cool class at my gym. Crazier things have happened. I mean, even step seems to be making a comeback. (I cannot tell you how horrified I was to have a conversation with one of the younger women at the office about this gym class she took called 'step'.) 

I'm not sure how my love of tag translates into my current phys ed routine. But I am pondering all this at the moment, while I finish the very physical work of clearing out our flat. However, when the Reebok gym at Canary Wharf starts offering it as a class, I will be asking for some sort of royalty payment. 

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