I’ve been mentally flogging myself for almost six months and here’s why.
Last year my neighbor Brenda and I joined a health club together. The gym was running a promotion where you got a free month, then had to sign a contract agreeing to plunk down $30 for 24 months.
We were assigned a personal trainer who put us on a program, and we were high as kites for half a year. Earlier, I’d slipped a disc doing the Watusi or some activity I had no business doing. I credit that program and guy named Brian Arnett with helping me regain my strength and dodge surgery.
With each passing week, the scales headed downward and we felt like Wonder Women.
Then tragedy hit. Brenda had illness in her family and she had to take a leave of absence from our morning workouts. I went two more times without her, but it just wasn’t fun any more. Who could I share gossip with while walking on the treadmill? Who would count my reps as we went through the paces in the weight room?
Within a short period of time, all those new muscles began to atrophy again. I spent all winter in my big squishy chair, watching Law and Order, and living on a diet of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and burned cheese toast.
My moment of truth came on Good Friday when I knelt at the cross at my church and it took three men to get me up off the floor. That will go down as my all time most embarrassing moment. I watched women way older than me kneel and hop up on their own.
I’d become a slug. It was very depressing. So today, I pulled myself together and squeezed into my tights. (That was exercise in itself.) I slinked into the gym like a bad dog who had just chewed up his master’s favorite shoes.
Ignoring the snide comments, I went right to the weight room and hopped on the “giddy-up machine” that works practically every muscle all at once. I did the dreaded plank which Brenda and I always did last. We could hold that pose for up to 90 seconds. Now I could barely do 10, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.
Later, while cleaning out the freezer and restocking it with healthy foods, I discovered the remains of a giant peanut butter cup that my son had sneaked into my stocking at Christmas. So I had one last fling. It tasted awful. All those months half wrapped in the freezer had given it the flavor of spaghetti sauce mingled with essence of shrimp.
So I’m recommitting to my morning workouts. I don’t want to stroll into my Golden Years bumping along on a walker.