We all like to believe we can become changed people.
After all, every New Year's Eve we compile a list of all the bad habits we want to break, better ones we want to start, and tack on the one predominant goal that has made its way to the list for the past four years.
It's not just New Year's that fuels our drive to change. While you're standing in line and scanning the obnoxious headlines of the magazines put on full display, it's evident that weddings, vacations and birthdays are all also catalysts of a goal that seems to be in the hearts of too many.
That is, losing weight and getting fit.
It's a shallow goal at best, because doing both of those things can be brought down to a simple science. Calories in, calories out. Metabolism. The pesky yet unavoidable nuisances called genes.
But, in our society, we tend to focus more on physical goals. How to look thinner or more muscular, better-looking; how to defy aging or even science itself. But even with something as rudimentary as fitness, the goals we should be accomplishing first are less tangible.
What may be more important than the failure of achieving your physical goals is the weight of insecurity in your mind, the hurt you carry from a tough past or an unceasing fixed mindset. The possibilities are endless.
I wonder if everyone made it their mission to change on the inside first and then on the outside, if that one goal—whatever it may be—could finally be ticked off the list, no matter what time of year.
I stare at the blinking cursor on the notes app after reading this speech again. I can't think of anything else to add to it and drop my phone into my handbag. I doubt a group of teenagers will be scrutinizing my every word anyway.
When I hear a grumble from the woman behind me, my head shoots up, and I realize the crossing signal is no longer an orange hand.
I speed across the street, because even at twenty, I still have the childhood delusion that a car will run straight into me if I walk too slowly. Maybe I've been in this city enough to know its people aren't on the patient side. . .
Or it could be the bad habit I have of checking my phone everywhere I go, which usually causes me to be in the back of the group when I cross the street. In that area, I'm not at the point yet where I believe I can become a changed person.
I amble down the sidewalk, finally on the right street. I take this time to admire the fashion sense of the many women walking around me; some may even be models, for all I know. I end up fidgeting with the top of the sleek black jumpsuit I'm wearing, worrying if it lays correctly on my chest.
And then I curse at myself for wearing heels—pricey nude Stuart Weitzman heels I bought myself for my birthday—as my foot stumbles over a crack in the street.
There's so much construction going on in New York City every time I'm here, yet nevertheless, that still happens.
I can feel a slight pain shoot up my ankle, but I know it's nothing serious. My body must be used to casual injuries by now, as I'm sometimes at the gym more than my own home. I remind myself that at least I'm a changed person in one aspect as my phone repeatedly pings with notifications.
I resist the urge to take it out of my bag and cross the street at the front of the group this time. A smile grows across my face the closer I walk to the restaurant.
It quickly fades when I stumble through another crack in the ground.
Moment briefly ruined.
YOU ARE READING
Staying AfloatTeen Fiction
• sequel to Boot Camp • Two summers after quirky and unconfident Whitney first stepped foot onto the grounds of Bob Campbell's Intense Boot Camp, she's back with the title of second-year trainer and refined fitness enthusiast. Only everything this y...