Observations from a reluctant exerciser, in a pandemic

Photo: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

I have always been a sporadic exerciser. And, yes, that’s euphemistic. My periods of regular exercise historically come in fits and starts, then disappear as quickly as they arrive — replaced with dark chocolate and binge-watching.

In fact, years ago, I pitched and was hired to write a “reluctant exerciser” column for a popular women’s magazine, which wound up being a bit more reluctant than the editors had hoped. Sure enough, the stories quickly became about what lipgloss and cute headbands to wear while hiking, instead of about climbing mountains.

Most of the times when I’ve successfully maintained an exercise…


Group Texts Have Kept Friendships — and Spirits — Afloat in Covid Era

“Everything is impossible,” texted my friend Rachel. She’s usually the upbeat one. The one with a solution. You know, the kind of person who went to camp for fifteen years and still wears the sweatshirts to annual reunions.

“That’s inspiring,” I responded. “You should make that your new mantra and have t-shirts made: Everything is impossible!”

“No, but seriously,” chimed our friend Meg. “Everything is impossible.”

We all agreed. Rachel, Megan and I are best friends from college. We live in three different cities — Oakland, LA…


There was a time before the world changed. When we thought we were stressed, but we didn’t know what stress was. Where we walked around complaining about our good fortune.

I don’t regret that time. But I do wish I had it back.

I don’t think we were ridiculous. There was plenty of worry. There always is if you don’t stop yourself from looking for it. We’ve never quite trusted our legs; they’ve never felt fully stable. The world was already moving at lightning speed in an unsavory direction.

Three weeks ago, after 14 days of strict quarantine, my husband…


Why January is time to slow down, not power forward

Illustration: Simone Noronha

It’s nearly January 1. Instead of popping a painkiller and heading full throttle into 360-degree total life reform, here’s a novel thought: What if you chose to stay cozy under the blanket just a little longer, using that time for extra sleep, meditation, or quiet reflection? And what if taking it easy was actually the healthier choice — truly the best way to start the upcoming year off right?

Despite the New Year’s Day trope of repenting, reinventing, and heading to the gym immediately, many of the world’s most ancient and trusted healing philosophies advocate an opposite approach to this…

Nora Zelevansky

New novel COMPETITIVE GRIEVING — 5/21! Bylines: NY Times, ELLE, T&C, WSJ. Pre-order: https://www.blackstonepublishing.com/competitive-grieving-nora-zelevansky

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