Heartfelt Statement of Purpose

A lot of us spend quite a lot of time working out. We run and swim, dance and kickbox. We lift weights and meditate and stand on our heads. We soak and steam ourselves, and drink wheat grass juice or coconut water. And it's good, and we wish we could do more. Sometimes we cry in yoga class, or punch the air at the end of a run, or smile quietly in dance class and vow to come back.

Social Workout is dedicated to celebrating those moments, and to helping more people have more of them. We worry that the deskbound, sleep deprived, over-served American body has it kind of rough, and -- outside of certain parts of California and New Mexico -- remains under-appreciated and under-expressed.

We think more people should dance, and, while writing this, we have a mental image of Native Americans performing ritual dances by enormous prairie campfires. Treadmills in gyms are a lame substitue for that kind of thing, it's true, and it's also true that some new age-y yoga teachers are annoying, and that it's not easy to be the awkward one in the hip African Dance class with live drummers.

And yet a deep and satisfying life of the body - and with this a graceful physique - is possible even in the most urban of places, even for the most out-of-shape people. Modern American fitness is stange and wonderful, a vast, ecosystem of municipal swimming pools, cultish fitness classes, diet fads, tear-jerking local 10K races, and pornographic lycra-cotton blends.

To get the best out of this world, we must stick together. Everyone can use a little help to fight the inertia, and to be our badest ass selves, if you will.

Hello "social" workout. We can't actually wake you up at 6:30am (yet), but we can guide you to an emergency spinning class on Saturday afternoon, and pass along intel about life saving personal trainers and/or surf-yoga retreats in Costa Rica. We might even be able to find you a workout buddy, or bring you together with the cutie on the elliptical. We can definitely help you download a workout podcast to your iPhone (for use on while traveling), and we plan to experiment recreationally on your behalf at the Vitamin Shoppe.

Whatever we do, we aim to do it online and with feeling, and to be nothing like the deathly, formulaic national "fitness" media. How many ways are there really to six pack abs?

So, until further notice, we'll be right here for you, 24x7, (except after bedtime and on weekends).

Thanks for reading.

New York City
February 2009

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