I just reread “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac and it got me thinking of the parallels of his travels and mine…specifically my always changing theater and fitness travels. Before jumping head first into the wild world of fitness, I spent 13 years as a professional singer/actor and had the good fortune to travel the world performing opera, music theater, and lots of non-music theater. Wild times, tons of travel, meeting thousands of folks, singing Mozart, attending lots of parties etc. The fitness world has been full of the same joys too, just not as many “themed” parties. I’ll let that comment lie there and work it’s way through your brain.
My classes sometimes have a Kerouac feel – the journey which is always changing and evolving, similar to a live theater piece. They can posses a surreal quality when the movement unlocks doors and floods your mind/body with revelation. This is how Mr. Kerouac might view these moments in one of my typical Pilates/yoga classes. In italics you will find some keys…
“The myth of the dark room of total body fitness has brought me here to avenue 113 (room 113 at Disney U.). These glass windows refract energy that is felt but not seen; like a dream that runs away when remembered; like a sweaty tooth madman (cheap rip off from Dead Poets Society). Class starts with a SLAM! of breathing, stretches, and the great American intersection of Bon Jovi. As waves pound in our ears, Planks take shape, hurling us in a metaphysical torrent of clicking senses succumbing to the voyage, the sordid hipsters of America. Joseph Pilates gleamed the edges of movement and found the beat not even Maynard (G. Krebs) could attain, and then on another level checked it emotionally like a fistful of suds to measure it’s amount of awe that your core finds. Groans are issued forth from the sum and substance of the classic “Big 5” exercises of thine abs, bringing the poetry of jazz to the fingertips. New song (Heart of Glass by Blondie). Tuck in your shirt! ! It finds the rhythm of a busted tragedy (like THIS), heaving us into Side-Leg series like W.C. Fields (#1 comedian of all time) trying to settle Mr. Muckle down (It’s a Gift from 1934). We crouch in myriad rapture and draw with triumphant agony (circles, triangles, and squares), cutting glass from the air while a huge clock rocks (always taken off the wall so we don’t obsess over time), unseen by sharp, outfitted eyes of yore. We crash in a descension of utter Biden paregoric, divine fitness and health. Now rise up yonder we breath in the blessings of the preamble to a life of long, lean, powerful muscles (the essence of fitness). Namaste’ and lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies!”
Thanks for your time and keep bopping to the fitness beat!
Sean Vigue – acquaintance of Dean Moriarty
“And as I sat there listening to that sound of the night which bop has come to represent for all of us, I thought of my friends from one end of the country to the other and how they were really all in the same vast backyard doing something so frantic and rushing-about.” – Jack Kerouac, “On the Road”