Thursday, April 30, 2009

Remember to Breathe

It was a long winter, I guess.  Not harsh, but by April it was certainly time to exit hibernating mode.  First order of business:  membership in a sports club.

Duly attired in my suburban athletic garb, I arrived at the gym for the complimentary session with a personal fitness trainer.  Adriana was young, kind, and pretty, with the perfect All-American sculpted features one would expect of a Pilates pro.  In between the instruction for the postural improvement exercises --“pinch the scapulae in a V”  “balance on one foot on the foam block” “don’t forget to exhale!” – we chatted.  When I told her I’d just moved from Paris, her eyes lit up.  Or … were they actually catching the light as they rolled just a bit toward her raised eyebrows?

“Oh, that must have been interesting,” she offered with a warm smile. “How long were you there?”

“Three years,” I replied, pumping the 6-lb dumbbells from the waist, trying to remember to breathe.

“You know,” she continued, shaking her head a bit, “when I was in college one of my sorority sisters spent a year studying in Paris. When she came back, she was so… different.  She had all this French stuff decorating her room, she missed her life there.  She got kind of depressed.  And she gained weight and complained about it. About driving and American eating habits.  She kept saying, ‘But in Paris we walked everywhere!’ She still wanted to do things the French way.” Adriana shrugged.

“Yeah,” I said.


Michelle said...

She got kind of depressed when she returned, huh? Well, I'm sure you'd know nothing about that :-/

I tried, after just two weeks there to maintain some of what I found. It just wasn't working though, walking around suburbia was depressing, and each time I ventured out I was reminded of that fact. I too gained weight and complained about it.

Starman said...

It's a good thing neither of you live in Florida. Especially South Florida. One simply does not walk here, it is much too hot. After one block, you would be exhausted. So we spend all our time in our air conditioned homes, from which we get into our AC vehicles and drive to our AC destinations. Luckily, when you guys are freezing, we have the best weather of the year with temps in the low to mid 70s.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

@Michelle, Yeah.

@Starman, And there is so little A/C in France. I guess there is no perfect place on the planet. We all have to find what suits. I guess my slogan is "I Like to Walk." But I've adjusted to the lack of walking here and go pump iron in the gym and walk on the treadmill.

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