The title of this post is the name of some kind of old rugby song that my dad used to sing. Whenever I mention that I’ve been/am going to zumba, he always retorts ‘I zigga zumba’ – so much so that whenever I think of zumba, I too mentally say ‘I zigga zumba’ to myself. My attendance at zumba (one class when down in Surrey and/or one class at home) has been pretty consistent and regular since my post-break-up decision to get fit. I’ve been really enjoying it. I’ve also been enjoying badminton when I’m able to make that. However, I feel I’m missing exercise options at weekends: classes are less frequent and the recent weather has hardly been conducive to getting outside in the fresh air. So I’ve decided to go along to my local gym as I’ve no excuses for not going there at the weekend. This feels like a big decision in lots of ways, not least because I feel like gyms are a hugely consumerist capitalist response to a basic human need to be active. They’re not good for the environment either; all that equipment, all that electricity, all that air conditioning. I’m telling myself that it’s okay as this is a municipal facility and I can kid myself that my pay-as-you-go sessions are subsidising children’s swimming lessons, although am not convinced by this self-deception. It is just so difficult when one’s principals (gyms are bad) clash with other imperatives (the need to be healthy and fit, and trying to juggle that with working in two different locations). To ease the pain of my first trip tomorrow, have arranged to meet some friends there and we are going for a curry afterwards. I feel like a wimp but am hoping that this diversionary tactic will ease my conscience.
Why are even seemingly simple life choices so complex? Where do we draw the line in efforts to live sustainable lives? Does my obligation to live sustainably by being healthy (stewardship of one’s body, as recently called for in an article that appeared in the Friend,http://thefriend.org/article/diseases-of-affluence/) outweigh the environmental impact of my going to the gym? Does the fact that the gym will be open & polluting the atmosphere whether I go or not absolve me from my concern? Or is that just a cop-out? Is this really a big issue or am I beating myself up too much about it?