In this Book

My Life at the Gym
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summary
A wide range of personal accounts celebrate the place of exercise in women's lives--and as the site of women's community. “Very often, my workouts are the best part of my day,” notes feminist writer Jo Malin. My Life at the Gym celebrates women’s experiences of exercise and the found spaces for this activity as places of community with other women. Neither elite athletes nor dancers, the contributors to this volume are well aware of the negative cultural messages about women’s bodies that may influence body work. Yet, like many women, they have found comfortable and healthful spaces that allow them to enjoy exercise and take care of the physical needs of their bodies. Through diverse essays, personal accounts, and poems, contributors portray everyday lives in which meaning comes from movement and from the companions they move with in a variety of activities from running, walking, swimming, and skiing to boxing, Morris dancing, and yoga, among others. A unique, positive, and largely unremarked view of exercise and its place in women’s lives, this book will resonate with and inspire many readers.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. My Life at the Gym
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Figures
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-15
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  1. Part 1.The Dance
  2. p. 17
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  1. 1. An Elegy for Dancing
  2. pp. 19-30
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  1. 2. Kaleidoscope Dances
  2. pp. 31-42
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  1. 3. From Ballet to Boxing: The Evolution of a Female Athlete
  2. pp. 43-59
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  1. 4. The Women’s Dance
  2. pp. 61-62
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  1. Part 2. The Gym, Weight Room,Studio, and Pool
  2. p. 63
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  1. 5. You Spin Me Right Round, Baby: Resistance, Potential, and Feminist Pedagogy in Indoor Cycling
  2. pp. 65-77
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  1. 6. Beyond the Lone Images of the Superhuman Strongwoman and Well-Built Bombshell toward a New Communal Vision of Muscular Women
  2. pp. 79-90
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  1. 7. Enduring Images
  2. pp. 91-93
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  1. 8. The Gymnastics Group
  2. pp. 95-100
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  1. 9. Gym Interrupted
  2. pp. 101-109
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  1. 10. Naked Truth
  2. pp. 111-116
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  1. 11. Women’s Yoga: A Multigenre Meditation on Language and the Body
  2. pp. 117-122
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  1. Part 3. On the Road, the Slopes, and the Lake
  2. p. 123
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  1. 12. “Messing about in Boats: ”Rowing as l’Écriture Féminine
  2. pp. 125-133
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  1. 13. Women Who Ski With Dogs
  2. pp. 135-143
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  1. 14. If These Roads Could Talk: Life as a Woman on the Run
  2. pp. 145-149
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  1. 15. Walking Is an Exercise in Friendship
  2. pp. 151-154
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  1. 16. Marathon
  2. pp. 155-156
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 157-159
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 161-164
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