Cha Cha Joins a Gym

Feb 21, 2023 | Blog Beat


Did you exercise today, Cha Cha? 

“Yes!” she says with a smirk, “I went for a walk around the neighborhood this morning.” 

In addition to fresh air and sunlight (which can easily be avoided when you work from home), this about-a-mile loop also includes a gradual, yet exerting uphill segment. 

But Cha Cha smirks because she knows she’s trying to get away with something. It’s Tuesday morning, and she just couldn’t wait any longer to listen to the intoxicatingly stupid Bachelor recap podcasts about last night’s episode. 

Instead of focusing on the rhythm of her breath or the beat of her feet, she’s deep in the pit of Bachelor play-by-plays. 

By 10 a.m. She feels lost and stupid.  

It’s not the Bachelor’s fault.  It’s Cha Cha’s, and she knows it. 


My favorite part of exercising is when it’s over. My second favorite part is when I’m actually exericising. But that only happens if I get over my least favorite part—showing up. 

I’m probably more creative on days that I exercise. All pumped up from accomplishment. Maybe the blood pulses better into my typing fingers. 

On days that I exercise, I am lighter. Yes, because of calories burned. But also because I feel like I am moving forward. I am not stagnant. On days that I exercise, I feel like I am in control. I am not a victim of my circumstance. I am not fat. 


Writing, I am a warrior of words fighting off the demons in my head. They say, “I don’t feel like it,” or “What’s the point?”

They love to say this about exercising. They convince me “I’ll do it tomorrow.” They know this is sabotage. 

Not exercising is a root cause of my existential spiral. I’m so f*cking done with that spiral. (You know the one. Who am I? What is my purpose?) I have a plan to write my way out! But I’ll need my strength. 

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“Ask me again!” she pleads. 

“Ok, Cha Cha, did you exercise today?”

“Yes!” she beams back.  

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This morning, when my alarm went off at 6:15, I did not hit snooze. Nor did I wrap myself in my fleecy, floor-length bathrobe and sleepwalk into the kitchen for some coffee and sugar (I take mine in the form of dried fruit. Lately it’s been dates. Sticky and sweat, I f*cking love dried dates.) I did not spend the next hour cuddled on the couch, playing Wordle, and eating dates before making some peanut butter toast for breakfast. 

Today, when my alarm went off at 6:15, I got up. I put on pants, grabbed my water bottle, and headed out the door. A two-minute drive later, I parked in front of my newly-membered gym. 

Thirty minutes later, mission accomplished: heart rate up. By 7 a.m., I was home again. The day ahead a little less intimidating. 

My goal is to start my day like this five days a week. My goal is to start my day like this tomorrow.—One day at a time, Cha. 


Why shouldn’t I make it there five days a week? I am not a quitter. (I used to be a quitter. But that’s another story.)

The hardest part will be showing up at the gym. Once inside, I’ll be revved by the kinetic energy of my fellow exercisers. They inspire me to start moving. I don’t want to be left behind. 

Toxic thoughts are released in my sweat.—I should exercise. I don’t feel like it. This room is too messy. I’m hungry. I shouldn’t be hungry. I just ate a snack. How can I be hungry if I’m not exercising? I just want more popcorn. No, Cha Cha, you can’t type and eat popcorn. I have nothing to write about. I should have exercised today.—I wipe these thoughts away and keep moving.

Originally from the east coast, Cha Cha lives in southern California with her fiance (he’s a plumber) and their bob-tailed cat, Copper Soup.

As a woman, Cha Cha spends her time writing, reading (though not as much as she wishes she did), watching Project Runway (way more than she wished she did—especially since the show ended in 2019), trying to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day (otherwise, she won’t leave the house because she works from home), learning how to manage her money, and talking to herself out loud.

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