Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Gym Shorts

While doing my version of Olympic treadmill walking last night, I started reminiscing about the exercise phases I've gone through . For someone who routinely says "I hate exercising", it's a bit surprising to realize that I've done so much of it in the past 30 years.

During the 1980's, it was mostly group aerobics: Dancergetics, Jazzercise, and classes at the local "singles" gym. Thank God there are no existing photos of that Jane Fonda wanna-be period. Even tho I was young and slender then, I don't want to see proof that I actually wore color coordinated leotards & tights, wrist bands, headbands, leg warmers, and other action accessories. We thought we looked good - at the time! My role model was a friend's new girlfriend. She was awesome - a blonde, thin, fit aerobics teacher with endless energy and a perfect body. It was only after they broke up that I found out she stayed that way by purging after meals, going on liquid only fasts, and using amphetamines or cocaine prior to starting the workouts. I lost some of my admiration for physical perfection after that little bit of news.

Exercise in the next decade consisted of self-directed activities: walking and using an assortment of home exercise videos and machines. Or to be more truthful, pretending to use an assortment of videos and machines. There was a rower, a stationary bike, and weird little hybrid that was a mix between a rower and bike. All of those were eventually traded away or donated to a local charity. By then I had become a condo owner on a single woman's wages, so health club memberships were not in the budget. I ate more, moved less, and slowly but surely acquired the silhouette of a middle-aged woman. I caught sight of my grandmother in store window reflections more than once which was startling! Those sitings usually resulted in short-lived exercise spikes of long walks and bicycle jaunts but the spikes never lasted. Alas, I became an apple, not a pear. Not a tapered Red Delicious apple either - more like a global, rounded, ripe little Fuji, the kind which rolls across the produce aisle when dropped.

OK, I might be exaggerating a little bit for the sake of a good story. But I moved into the overweight category on the BMI chart and went to double digit clothing sizes. Ironically, I wore exercise sweat pants a lot, even tho I was definitely not exercising!

Then, the little apple started to develop minor health issues mostly related to being too far to the right on the BMI chart. My doctors suggested a regular exercise program might be helpful. And at the same time, our local hospital opened a multi-million dollar Wellness Center which includes a beautiful fitness club and health education activities. (Very savvy planning, geared to aging baby boomers.) I took the orientation tour and signed up on the spot. The facility is wonderful - full of natural light from 20' windows and spotlessly clean, unlike some previous clubs I joined. I love going there and as a result have started to like (not love) my exercise routine. Hence, the Olympic treadmill walking.

And one of the best parts? Every cardio machine has it's own TV! Now I'm improving muscle fitness while decreasing brain fitness. I'm on a first name basis with Stacy & Clinton (don't try to pretend you don't know them!), Larry King, Judge Judy, and the bridal consultants on Say Yes to the Dress. I confess to staying on the elliptical an extra 5 minutes just to see if the bride picked dress #3, even tho Mom wanted dress #1. My quads, hamstrings, and gluts are toning up while my cerebral mass is turning to Jello. But I look better, feel better, and can contribute more to the lunchroom pop gossip. Maybe I DO like exercise!

1 comment:

Deb said...

I love Stacy London and Clinton Kelly too!