Yesterday morning as I settled down on my mat to do my home version of my exercise routine, I was pleased to notice that my muscles seemed to know what I was asking of them. My trainer has me using routines that I was already familiar with from our time together at the gym. While they have been adapted for me to use resistance bands instead of the cable and weight system I use there, the sensation in my muscles is familiar. I can even hear Colin’s (my trainer) voice in my head. “Throw your shoulders back. Keep your back on the ground. Add resistance if that is too easy.” It makes me incredibly grateful that I had begun this practice in person at the gym. Before that I would have had little idea of what I was supposed to do. In fact, in years past, when I tried working out alone from a book I nearly always pulled or tweaked some body part, discouraging me from any further attempts.
But in addition, as I blasted my music and did my core routine on the floor I started remembering many other times and places I had exercised. I used to rush over to the YWCA after I taught and before I picked up children from school and swim laps. I even tried out a gymnastics class for adults. I did a season of Pilates at the local athletic club. Thinking about high school brought back the awful requirement of running up and down the bleacher stairs. Worse yet were the 10 minutes allotted us to shower(en masse), get dressed and get to our next class one or two flights of stairs away. That was aerobic itself!
And in the end I thought about how I took my body being fit for granted when I was a kid. I ran, biked, swam, climbed, slid, jumped and hula hooped for the pure joy of it. I can’t say that my routine these days gives me as much joy. But it does give me a large measure of satisfaction. That will have to do.