being there

at the Y everyone is wearing a headset or else watching a tv on their treadmill. what is it about working out that makes people desire placing their mind elsewhere? what is so difficult about repetition, running, stair climbing or swimming laps. there are even  underwater iPods.  the alternative would be to be present in the activity which is reminiscent of being in performance; present and listening to each moment. i bet if there was an audience for each person working out like a dozen people in chairs facing whoever is on the stairclimber that they would more easily accomplish their mission, maybe even work out longer. maybe being watched is part of what makes a performer perform?

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