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Sunday, 4.4.04: April & exercise

Just for the record. It is 8 AM and snowing in Rochester NY. There is a beautiful red cardinal sitting on a tree branch outside my window. He is looking around forlornly. Where is spring?

Like someone said: "April is the cruelest month." It has been rainy and gray all week. Doing my daily outdoor walks seemed dismal beyond tolerance. I hadn't been to my new find-your-inner-goddess athletic club in weeks. The 3-month $99 membership had no doubt expired anyway.

So I picked up the phone and arranged an intro appointment at my old Rochester Athletic Club. I spent the 80s and 90s at that club. I'd left because their downtown location had become out of the way for me and I wasn't going.

In March 2000 I joined a club that is a 10-minute walk from my house. It was a cheery place, with gigantic windows looking out at the same woods I see from my studio at home. But it had a few flaws. It was crowded and the piped in music too loud. If you wanted to take a special class like yoga or Pilates, you paid extra. It offered day care, but that meant kids leaking out from where they were supposed to stay. I've gotten used to being naked in a women's locker room -- but not in front of pre-schoolers. And overall, the place was just sort of unfriendly.

Meanwhile, RAC has opened up a branch exclusively for women in the next suburb over. This is where I joined up. The owner, who I knew at the downtown club, recognized me immediately -- a point for friendliness. They have day care too, but kids were nowhere to be seen and aren't allowed in the locker room. The background music is soft. Truth be told, the club caters to rich, stay-at-home wives, so it is able to offer something like 90 classes a week at daytime hours that are now convenient for me.

The place enveloped me with attention. I met up with an old friend from my Pat Drum Aerobics days of the 1980s and that added to the sense I was back where I belonged.

The classes I've taken in only 4 days have my thighs and butt muscles in agony -- probably a good sign that I'm out of shape. So, tomorrow morning I'm giving myself the treat of a full-hour massage.

My remaining challenge: The harder I work out, the hungrier I get. No, no, no...

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