This evening I pulled out my yoga mat and stretched until I had warmed up every single muscle in my body, concentrating on each ligament, carefully forming each breath.
My ceiling is low and there’s a pillar in my room that I use to keep me steady, to climb my hands up and down a wall, to push and pull my body away in sporadically measured beats.
At some point my movements turn into the first position and I perform a series of pliés that take me back to the ballet classes of my youth. I bring my arms in a circle, up and over, over and over. I repeat movements and my calves begin to tingle, fingers warm, breath quickening. I pull a series of high-kicks, ten with my left and nine with my right, the last of which turns into a stretch as I plant my foot and bring myself to the ground.
I stretch and writhe, pop back up and find myself kickboxing, jabbing the air with my limbs in a specific way without keeping track, simply feeling. There is no one instructing me on what to do or judging my form, no reps to count or bad feelings to push through.
My cat lies impassively as a tuft of fur on my bed, uncaring, half asleep. She’s the only witness to my now-nightly ritual of unstructured, uninhibited body movement. My shades are drawn. I look forward to this solace and the mental peace that is brings.
My “fitness” is my own.