Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Truth and Punishment

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Bullshit, right? I never paid much attention in math, but the last time I checked, one plus one plus one still equaled three. And even if we wax all metaphorical, decreeing that the "whole" is the Team and the "parts" are the irreplaceable contributions of each Team Member to the Group Effort- well then, the whole thing still bears a startling resemblance to the excrement of a testosterone-addled cow.

Because I know what Team means. Team means a bunch of people taking three hours to do the work a single person could do in one. And as for Group Effort? It consists of a series of heroic contortions designed to maintain your grip on both tact and control. Either that or redoing everyone else's work on the sly.

Did I mention I play well with others?

Actually I'm not quite so bad. But I've never had much faith in Glorious Synthesis, or Pulling Together, or any other phrase that requires spurious capitalization to make its mark. Until, that is, I stumbled on Step-Strength Seventy-Five.

Step-Strength Seventy-Five comprises a wide range of elements I hate. First off, there's lengthy exercise (fifty-five minutes of intensive flailing followed by 20 minutes of Extra Torture). Add to that loud, dreadful music; idiotic moves; spandex; floor-to-ceiling mirrors; sorority girls; and a manic, unpleasantly cheerful leader barking commands.

Only I love it. I'm absolutely crazy about it. I've fought tooth and nail to attend Step-Strength Seventy-Five through three years and two graduate programs, stretching my schedule, straining credulity, and, when necessary, lying through my teeth.

Because here's the thing: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Somewhere between the Michael Jackson remixes and the Ace of Base medley, between the Super Stomp and the Rocking Horse, all the unsavory ingredients sit down to business, toss around ideas, and get things done. And nothing -nothing- beats lying exhausted and sweaty on a dirty gym mat, Kenny G wailing in the background, feeling like a rug that's been thoroughly beaten.

Some might call this a disturbing addiction. I call it Synergy.

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