We rejoined the YMCA over the weekend. I can honestly say right now that as I type this I am moaning. Oh, the nuanced pain of unused muscles. I am discovering expanses of self that hurt as never before, the cruelest part being the surprise as a movement draws a new ache. It’s good, just makes everything from lifting my coffee mug to scaling the stairs a spectacle of “oohs” and jerks that make the girls throw back their heads with amused delight.

I’m not bent on writing about working out though, it’s something else. It is using another set of muscles that has helped me rediscover the kind of high I get from overcoming the “I don’t want to work out malaise” and actually making it to the gym, track or whatever and loving it. I visited my dusty, old pal Bloglines and pointed myself in some neglected, but beloved sites.

I popped over to the sites of old friends, collaborators, inspirations, models and amazing women. I read entry after entry, followed the trails of commenters to sites of people I have admired from afar and to others I hadn’t known. Then I found my way to sites I should have been keeping on my radar.

It took time and had been something I’d been avoiding. The pressure to achieve traffic numbers, make comments, establish ties— it all became too much and something for which I was not feeling driven. Silly me, I’d forgotten how a 15 degree shift in perspective could make me pee my pants laughing, or that the musicality of another voice could bring me to tears and remind me of my blessings. I’d lost sight of the idea of belonging, forget “community” and other buzz words insinuating something more than place. Whether you are going about your day or turning the pages of a story, it comes down to how you feel.

My mom used to say, “It isn’t that I don’t like so and so, it’s that I love seeing how this other person makes you light up.” Have we all gotten so tied up in the numbers and rewards that we’ve forgotten the treasure of hearing a good yarn? Of nodding along as someone gives voice to something you’ve thought, but been afraid or unable to articulate?

I got my head out of my own way, and traveled to places that lifted my spirits, ignited my imagination and made me feel as if, “My god, I need to get back to living.” When reading and commenting mimic life, when they are done in moderation, or according to appetite rather than dictate, they invigorate. So, go take a dip. Leave a comment, find inspiration, you’ll be surprised how good it feels.