Eve of Destruction: Why Do Anything Outside? (Circa 11/99)
I asked my brother-in-law, per my sister’s demand, what she would like for her birthday next week. He’s getting her a hammock and a wool blanket, I was instructed to purchase a thick turtleneck sweater in winter white or sky blue. See Charlotte just had her swimming pool re-done and can’t wait until next summer to spend long lazy days coveting it. She will go for a hike up Towsley Canyon on early morning weekends before she feels justified in lounging through her afternoon’s poolside. She’s what I would describe as an outdoorsy kind of girl.
My mother used to drag us on mountain hikes, only to be rewarded by the nausea-inducing switchback curves we had to take on the way home. My brother used to hike with his buddies and my ex-boyfriends. Along with Charlotte their quite the kin of Swiss Family Robinson. By some luck of the draw I seem to have avoided any outdoor activities, and carsickness, since I was old enough to run, indoors, in the opposite direction.
I had to run eight laps at my old gym to equal a mile. They alternated the direction every week or so because they didn’t want us to wear the tread unevenly on our aerobic shoes. I tried this outdoors, even went so far as running a few 5k’s with my mom, before I re-discovered the heaven of indoor gyms.
Why would anyone ever do anything outside when they can be inside? I was the kid that voted for the indoor pool when we took our annual trip to Palm Springs during the heat of the summer, you know, when its cheap. My sunglasses always bruised the bridge of my nose as they happily bounced during my outdoor runs, seemingly enjoying getting out once and awhile for some activity. Zinc Oxide slathered over my nose and shoulders when I was young; the only time I enjoyed the outdoors was during sunbathing. You know back in the days when we used olive oil to roast our skin leaving tiny trails of burst bubbles over much of our shins. We all know now, and some of you knew then, ritual sunbathing was not the brightest of ideas.
I love rowing and spinning, indoors. Weight training and step aerobics would be ridiculous outside and we know it from the exercise videos we are barraged with of tight-bunned instructors doing endless leg kicks on very sandy exotic beaches, as if. My sister, on the other opposite hand, would rather fry an egg on her newly landscaped Valencia rock than go inside to exercise. Although I know for a fact she has a Stacy Powells trampoline in the event of another Santa Clarita earthquake. Although, knowing her, she’ll hike all the way to my house so she won’t feel the endless aftershocks, with fried egg sandwiches for my entire housebound crew.
So where do you draw the line? Inside or out? I admit I love a good view. I just rather it be in a controlled, air-conditioned, instructor-driven, environment. Certainly not in my own backyard.
Although, maybe, just maybe, because the new house will have a built-in spa, I’ll just have to grin and bear it. While I attempt a few leg lifts with Jacuzzi bubbles, instead of sand, for added resistance of course.