Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bright Yellow Shorts and some Penny Loafers

An enjoyable (yes, I said enjoyable) component to regaining control of my life is working out. I have always liked working out, but became too bogged down by depression and an out of control work schedule to exercise consistently. Unhappiness is a persuasive demotivater. Once you stop, it's hard to get going again. You can come up with all kinds of good reasons: no time, no energy, I'm having a good hair day and don't want to mess it up, etc.

I work out at the local community rec. center. If you ever want to feel like you are still young and out at your community rec. center. Most days I am the only person in the room under the age of 65. (Unless Nicole comes with me.) There is a man that works out on a recumbent stair stepper, whom I'm fairly certain is 436 years old. He wears these fabulous bright yellow shorts...with matching yellow headband. He really rocks the headband. He works out so intensely that I fear for his health, and yet he can only move each pedal about an 1/8 of an inch. Quite frankly, I think that's the secret to his longevity. I mean, it would take great muscle control to only move those pedals an 1/8 of an inch and not a bit more.

I also thoroughly enjoy the exercise wardrobe of the over 65 set. Other than Mr. Bright Yellow Shorts, most of them come and work out in their street clothes. Yesterday, the man on the bike in front of me was wearing his khakis, an oxford, and penny loafers. Do you stop sweating after 65? Or is changing clothes too much of a hassle? The woman next to him was truly decked out: blazer, rayon blouse, black trousers, bracelets, and even a scarf. I kept getting worried that her long scarf would get caught on some equipment and down she would go.

A couple of weeks ago an elderly gentlemen came in and wanted to try out every piece of cardio equipment. He would ask someone how to get a machine going, stay on it for 2 minutes and move to the next machine. When I helped him with his treadmill, you would have thought that I was a mechanical genius. He was so thrilled....but, after two minutes he moved on to the elliptical machine. (That didn't go so well.)

I have started wondering if they look at me and think, "What is she wearing? Her pajamas?" I frequently feel sorely under dressed and wonder if I should at least add a few accessories to my yoga pants and t-shirt. (Maybe a beadazzler is in order.) On the upside, I usually feel like I'm going at a really good clip compared to those around me. The impressive thing, of course, is that they are all still working out. They all care enough about the quality of their health to show up several times a week. For a few of them I think it's a social outing, but for most they just want to keep as active as possible. There is one lady who comes several times a week. I thought she was about 70...nope...100!! Yes, 100 years old. She even had her picture put up on the bulletin board in the weight room. She swims, walks and lifts weights 4 times a week and she looks (and acts) amazing!

Like eating right, exercise is something we will need to do for the rest of our lives. (At least if we want to enjoy the rest of our lives.) For me I love the treadmill, some weights and a class now and then. When I get on the treadmill and turn on my music I can let my mind go and focus on how I feel. Every drop of sweat, every breath, every flexed muscle is me taking control of my life. The healthier I become, the more fit I become, the more I feel capable of becoming the kind of woman the Lord expects me to become. Exercise is hard, but it is also empowering and energizing...and if you're lucky 40 years from now you'll be slipping on your penny loafers to head to the gym.


Nee said...

I LOVE going to the gym. It is about the best thing that you can do for yourself. Keep it up. Call me any time you want or need to go out with just a girlfriend.

Jill said...

Oh how I would love to see some photos of you mixed in with this crowd!!

michelle said...

Hilarious. I can totally picture the whole thing.

Woohoo for 16 pounds!

Lisa Olivier Sorenson said...

You crack me up! If Mary Ellen Edmunds gets sick you can sub for her. Love your writing!

Anonymous said...

A very upbeat posting about working out. You are right-there is always an excuse not to-and always something else that needs to be done. But, guess what? There will always and forever be something else that needs to be done,as we all know. Thanks for this uplifting piece of writing(:

Dale Farnworth-Hill said...

Oh Michelle, I completely relate to you in this circumstance. How refreshing to read your posts. Putting a voice to depression and how debilitating it is or can be helps heal. Thank you and keep up the great work (writing, staying active, taking back the control of your life, inspiring another with hope, courage putting yourself "out there, losing 16#).
I truly love you for this.