“It helps me get the mean out!”
That’s what I heard the woman next to me in my CrossFit class say. I nodded. We were on the rowers, and the “whoosh” of the flywheels made words hard to hear.
“It does!” I shouted. “It helps me get the mean out, too! A workout really helps me get the mean out!”
The coach and my classmate both looked at me with an odd tilt of head, like a dog hearing a high-pitched noise, or a human wondering, “What the heck is she talking about?”
It turns out I had heard incorrectly. My classmate had not said,“It helps to get the mean out” but had actually said, “It helps me to lean out.” She had been talking about her nutritional plan, not about the workout.
But my mis-hear got me to thinking (again) about how amazing exercise is for keeping our heads from blowing up—you know, what people with many letters after their names call “mental health.”