Dearest Rachel –
I mentioned to you right after Christmas that the folks had gotten me a gift certificate to renew my membership at the Arlington Ridge Center that you and I had bought together when the place opened up at the beginning of 2020. To be sure, it had been more for you than for myself, and you took advantage of it fairly frequently, going for a swim when you had the chance to (but never bothering to drag me to the place with you, something I regret a bit now, even if for no other reason than not having more chances to see you in your swimsuit), whereas I never darkened the door of the place after purchasing my membership card. Exercise was never a priority for me; my attitude was that eating ‘properly’ and exercising didn’t mean you would live longer – it would just seem longer, since you’re not enjoying yourself when you did any of those things.
Indeed, you might expect that I would be even less inclined to take care of myself at this point, now that you’re gone; why make the effort to stay on the planet when you’re no longer here? I’ve certainly heard of stories of widowed spouses who let themselves go for that very reason; Peter Cushing (who you would remember about equally as Star Wars’ Grand Moff Tarkin and the original cinematic version of Doctor Who), after his wife’s passing, is said to have run up and down the stairs in his home for a time, in hopes of inducing a heart attack and joining her in the afterlife.
But it seems that doing that isn’t likely to hurry me along to the exits; at least, not with sufficient speed for my liking. I’m stuck here for the time being for whatever reason – the Lord has yet to see fit as to let me know why, exactly – and as such, it looks like I’ll just need to make the best of things for now. This would include trying to attract ‘Megumi,’ assuming she exists (to be fair, I am starting to wonder about that), and in order to do that, I need to work on making myself more appealing to her, or whoever might be a candidate to become her. Besides, I’ve put time, money and effort into making this home more attractive; shouldn’t I do likewise to myself?
And so it comes to pass that I’ve finally made my way to the Center, in order to determine what I need to do with this gift in order to ensure that my registration is up to date, and I commit to coming in on a regular basis going forward and actually getting in some exercise.
Turns out that, while I do still have my membership card, it’s not as simple as all that. Sure, the certificate covers a sort of basic membership, but if I’m to actually use any of the equipment (in particular, I figure a few regular reps on a rowing machine would do my gut a lot of good), that requires an upgrade. Thanks to inflation (or maybe it’s because 2020 had an introductory rate), I’m paying more for this that I remember doing for ours only three years ago – and mine doesn’t even grant me access to the pool (not that I’m at all interested, to be honest). They do have a daily use rate, if I preferred, and the annual membership would require me to come in about seventy times throughout the year to break even…
…but that’s kind of the point. I need to carve out a regular time to stop in, probably twice a week, to force myself to do these reps. Granted, it’s one more thing added to my calendar – ARC may stand for Arlington Ridge Center, but it’s also Another Regular Commitment for me to deal with – but it’s the best way I can think to motivate myself, by making me want to get my money’s worth out of a larger investment. So here I am, all signed up for the year; hopefully, it will encourage me to stop by on those days I decide not to walk to the ‘office.’ Either way, it should do me some good in trying to get to where I want to be, physically speaking.
Although, like with the house, if this actually manages to work out (which boils down to whether I manage to work out), it’s going to be one of those things that I’m sorry you never got a chance to hang around to see. Then again, would I still be making this effort if you were still here? To be honest, I rather doubt it.
Still, if you’d be willing to keep an eye on me, nonetheless, I’d be grateful, honey. And wish me luck; I’m going to need it.
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