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Embracing diversity 

I just got home from the gym, and I feel fabulous. Yessiree, the blood's a pumpin', the heart is galloping, and the sweatsuit--well, a river runs through it. I can't imagine anything putting me in the "zone" the way a good workout does. Except, of course, not working out. Saying, "Screw the gym, I'm gonna eat me a bag of Oreos and watch Oprah ... Wow ... Head rush."

In Chapel Hill, though, everyone who is anyone is a fitness disciple. If you don't toe the treadmill line, own at least one spandex outfit, and run your infant in a jogger/stroller, you're scum. Well, I'm not taking it anymore! I've tried to fit in, God knows I've tried. I've talked heart-rate and body-fat-ratio at parties, while sneaking handfuls of chips and dip into my pocket. I've heard people snicker when I said I was taking "Hiawatha" yoga, or that I was an avid skier who adored "telemarketing down that mountain." Well, I'm coming out of the closet: I hate exercise. Sue me!

Not that this is a new thing--I've hated exercise and sweating since the doctor spanked my hiney in the delivery room. I was perfectly fine not crying, but he wanted me to "exercise my lungs." Who asked him? When I was young, my concept of hell was weeding the garden in summer. I only played soccer in high school because I heard the goalie rarely had to move. The single exception to this lifelong aversion was that I played tennis--hard, sweaty tennis--because I was just damn good at it! But, within seconds of that last point, you can bet I was in a cold shower somewhere on the planet.

So, it's out in the open now. We'll see if the people of Chapel Hill just talk a good game when it comes to "embracing diversity." We'll see if I am shunned by the beautiful people as I sit with my eclair on Franklin Street.

I understand that the nation is facing an obesity crisis, and I understand the benefits of staying at a healthy weight. But, when one has reached the age of 40-none-of-your-business, I think careful eating habits and perhaps, an occasional walk from your parking spot to the mall door, should be all that's expected--by God or Chapel Hillians. If you need me, I'll be watching Oprah.

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