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At the gym 20 years later

April 23, 2013

The last time I had a gym membership women wore makeup, leg warmers and thong bodysuits. Apparently a few things have changed since then.

For the last two decades I’ve been working out at home in my basement with a variety of hand weights, DVDs and VHS tapes, and the original purple and pink STEP climber. It screams early 1990’s and The Firm workouts, which I still own. When it’s not raining and the weather tops 50 degrees I’m outside either running or speed walking with hand weights.

Not since high school cross country season have I had a solid, coordinated workout program that balanced cardiovascular exercise with weight training. I sort of made sure I did a little of both each week. Honestly I shy away from lifting weights and I’d rather run three extra miles uphill than do a single crunch.

For years this routine had kept me in some decent shape. As I closed in on my 50th birthday, however, I started realizing that my standard routine wasn’t working anymore. There wasn’t enough incentive to push myself harder. My bad back required an adjustment of all core strengthening routines. Yet, I lacked the experience and training to know what that meant. Over the last several years I’ve talked about hiring a personal trainer, but didn’t.

Flipping a decade is a great time to change something in your life. Do something for yourself. Do something for others.

What I don’t want was to slowly let myself go to the point where other health problems begin to occur. If I let that happen it will create other burdens for the family. That will make me nuts! It was time to stop joking about my soft white underbelly. So now, I want everything to stay strong: mind, body and soul.

I actually enjoy learning new things. I started a business two years ago. I can certainly start a new health regiment with the same vigor and determination.

I loved my 40’s. I loved the way I felt as a woman and the confidence I held in life. Despite difficulties that we all face on a daily basis, I truly enjoyed life. I’m certain, however, that my 50’s will be my favorite decade.

With that in mind I let my daughter Helen talk me into taking a tour at an L.A. Fitness club near my house. Four to five nights a week I pick her up from work and we laugh our way through runner’s highs and how I must be the only woman who could get hot flashes while swimming laps. Now I know what yoga addicts are talking about. I’m also working up the courage to take a spinning class. First we must address the issue of that tiny seat.

For all the kidding around I do I actually enjoy the time to myself and the way a better regiment makes me feel. Something new, something stronger.

For those who haven’t been to the gym in 20 years leg warmers are now called compression socks. They are like Spanx for your calves.

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