When life throws you lemons, many say to make lemonade. The question is do you use sugar or artificial sweetener. Such is the choices when your lemons are physical shape.
As one who has considered herself fairly in good shape, it comes as a “what?” moment when your physicians tells you otherwise. Armed with that knowledge, you either agree or disagree. Disagreeing may mean being in denial. But, when you actually realize that you subconsciously knew you were sinking into fair to partly cloudy shape, it becomes time to take measures never before attempted in your life.
That’s right. You utilize that portion of your insurance plan that pays for membership to a fitness and wellness center. At first, you think this isn’t going to be easy. It’s the getting the motivation to actually get out there and go. So, the first day you actually enter involves getting signed up, talking about the facility, taking the tour and looking at the different activities that can be done in a group as well as solo activities.
You discover it doesn’t seem so daunting so you start with what you are used to doing. For me, that is walking. I can walk. And, I used to walk for miles. That was years ago and today, that same walking doesn’t do for you what it did back then. Years go by, a few physical health problems set in and what you had gets lost in the shuffle as you have modified many things in your life to compensate — all to your own detriment that you actually thought was beneficial. Yes, even the most educated individuals can convince him/herself the right thing is being done.
Realizing this is a long journey and not sprint, things will need to be different in order to “snap back.” That’s where you find an interest and try it out. Then, there is the dreaded “do I really need to do this” portion — a personal trainer. The answer for some is “no, it isn’t necessary.” However, for some of us with long term goals that previous knowledge lost has to be regained, it is one of those necessary “evils.” The biggest necessary evil is not the trainer but the various sets of baseline measurements that must be taken. It’s then you realize your decision is based on the reality you might not want to face.
A personal trainer can seem daunting but after meeting and talking with mine, I can say she is very cognizant of where I am, where I want to go and how to help me get there in a way that I can keep the process going long after she is not needed. It’s the one little booster that will make a difference long term. My sessions with her and weight training begin in a few days.
As it’s said, you have to start somewhere. So, we start at the beginning and progress. Interest is the key. Find what interests you and go to those classes.
Being a walker, the treadmill seemed the right move. It is for a bit as you watch a movie in “cardio cinema.” You set the pace for you and go for it as you are entertained while walking. It can build confidence as you find you can actually do more than you thought as your brain relaxes to let your body auto function without forcing it. However, it’s nice to do as a warm-up but a better cardio workout is truly needed.
Enter the suggestion to do “spin” class, which to a newb is cycling but the term “spin” is more fun sounding, plus you “spin” to music. First “spin” class accomplished on Monday night. During the first time, I was instructed to remain sitting but did do the resistances and RPM requirements that I could. Doing the entire 50 minutes was a confidence booster so “spin” will be the cardio workout of choice. Unfortunately, my balance is terrible so standing to “spin” is somewhat challenging but with practice and work, along with lots of encouragement from the “classmates” I met, I will get there. Two times a week is great and gives me one other day to do any other cardio — cardio cinema on the bike– here I come.
To help with balance and centering, Yoga and Tai Chi classes were chosen.
Hearing about Yoga can actually turn one off to the process. Going to a class can help turn one on to the process. First Yoga class accomplished today helped stretch areas I forgot needs to be stretched. The key to everything is breathing and posture — two things you can forget as you read through the news and politics as you compose articles and op-eds. It was relaxing, non-threatening and very encouraging. Granted, not all the moves could be done but there are alterations to every position. The confidence built getting through the class as well as being able to accomplish total body stretching (some areas I’m better at than others) helps build further confidence and interest. Yoga is a necessity just because I like the stretching, the instructor and the control to learn centering. Twice a week is great for that but may have to go three depending on the weight training uncovering additional stretching needs.
Tai Chi was something I was alway interested in doing but as with lots of other things, just did not do it. First Tai Chi class accomplished today and did it ever uncover plenty of balance issues. The instructor was awesome and took the new class additions aside to go over some basic movements. The movements aren’t difficult but they are controlled and deliberate. For someone who is left/right challenged, it can be daunting meaning I yinged when I should have yanged at times. The hands and arms are in harmony movement with the legs so getting that down is practice as well. Always remembering to breathe and keep that spine aligned, shoulders down and watch that center of gravity. Another twice a week class but needed for balance.
While the activities seem like a lot, each accomplishes a different goal that will help overall. Tai Chi helps with balance, control and posture. Yoga helps with stretching, centering, control and posture. Spin is for cardio fitness. The personal trainer helps with muscle building through a personalized weight training program — definitely needed if you have never done weight training. The cardio cinema is the addition to spin for the cardiac workout.
With all this work going on and it is work with fun, the other fun part is the pool usage in the evenings with a friend of mine. She is working at getting in shape so we are supporting each other — another key to any type of change is support systems.
Interspersed with all of this is eating a bit better and drinking more water. One thing that didn’t need much correcting is the food and water portion.
A good balance of everything in life is needed. Too much work is just as bad as too little. The same with recreation. Too little is as bad as too much. Luckily, the career that I chose never seemed like work and neither does writing. It’s easy to overdo it when that is the case. So, balance, control, centering and even breathing were overlooked to the point all must be corrected together through class learning to achieve a long term goal. Even sitting here writing this little personal blog, a far cry away from what I usually cover, I find myself breathing better and sitting better. The typos seem to be less as well.
So, the making of the lemonade is underway. The recipe calls for a mixture of sugar and sweetener to taste. It’s good so far being the first week. It tastes good, feels refreshing and hits the spot. The true test of the lemonade will come in a few months when maybe I don’t want lemonade or am tired of lemonade. In that case, those lemons will be used in tea, hot or cold, with sugar or sweetener to taste or a mixture of both.
In between the politically incorrect content, readers will be subject to the occasional batch of lemonade. This is a year-long process in learning the appropriate recipe but there will be a bit of lemon tea thrown in. For all those who are making lemonade with their brand of lemons, good luck and know that others are squeezing their lemons as well.