Writer’s Note: Neurological rewards, such as the adrenaline rush, keep me coming back to the gym for more. This piece is meant to capture that powerful sensation. I love reflecting on my deep enjoyment of physical activity. Hopefully, this piece will motivate you to exercise. Enjoy!- Naima
Mount the elliptical and don’t hesitate to begin. Hit ‘play’ on Halsey’s “Colors.” The body hits ‘play’ on adrenaline. Head up, chest out, knees up. Sweat soaks my Under Armour shirt. Pick your knees up faster. The body craves an endorphin rush. The beat quickens. Heartbeat, light, and sound coalesce into a celebration of life. A fire kindles in my quadriceps and intensifies. Faster. The fire ignites an incomparable high. Open your lungs and take it all in. This movement is a dance in disguise. Halsey sings, “You’re dripping like a saturated sunrise.” My vision becomes blurry from sweat dripping into my eyes. Heart beat knocks against the walls of my lungs. Harder. I can feel my pulse in my bicep. Every inch of me has come alive. The mind is stimulated. The body refuses to quit. I increase the incline of the machine, increase the resistance. It’s not enough to spark a stronger high. Speed up. Use your arms! The song reaches its chorus. Techno music flows in, sweat flows out. Energy can be limitless. Energy must be limitless. I continue to celebrate my health, my youth, my happiness. The fire continues to burn through my legs, building heat. Nothing can blow out the flame. I have become the flame. Every muscle in the body is working toward the peak of this adrenaline rush. Light an entire forest on fire until there’s nothing left but hot wax. Sweat continues to soak every inch of my bright red shirt. Sit deeper into your quads and build toward your maximum speed. I can’t see my legs moving, but the fire still kindles. I eventually slow down and dismount the machine. The flame still fuels my pulse, as blood flows to my temples. Happiness floods my veins and is delivered to the heart. Let the fire burn.