Last night at the gym I was talking to a woman that I see in Step Aerobics every week. She has been going for years and we chat but I don’t know much about her personally.
I was complaining about the fact that I don’t like doing the hopping that is new to our routine or the Burpees. This woman ( I don’t even know her name) said I hate the hopping too but I don’t mind the Burpees because I can actually do them. I kind of laughed and she said, “no, you don’t understand, I am 63 years old. I am happy I can do them.”
My eyes bugged out my head and I said ” You’re 63? Not that 63 is old or anything but you look great!”
I would have bet the farm this woman was in her early 50’s. She is a bit heavy but she stands in front of me in class and this woman can keep up with all the younger people! She modifies her moves at times but she doesn’t stop and she keeps the energy up during the whole class. She comes faithfully almost every week and she never leaves early.
I guess this strikes me as so impressive because my Mom aged really, really young. She was never active and a heavy smoker and drinker her whole life. By the time she hit 63 she had terrible back issues, emphysema and she stopped driving.
By 66 she was dead.
So, it’s important for me to make sure I am active, healthy and more importantly have strength.
I do not want to be in my Mom’s shape at her age as she was. It was mostly so avoidable. She never went to the doctors and just didn’t take care of herself at all. She would be the first to tell you to go to the doctors for an ailment, but her, no way.
A mother is supposed to teach her daughter to take care of herself by example but I learned by what I don’t want to be like. She never once had a mammogram, yearly checkups or any type of preventative checks and absolutely no exercise of any kind ever in her whole life.
My Mom was the queen of sitting. She would sit in her kitchen and watch TV and then sit on the porch to have a cigarette and then move back in the house to sit some more. If my parents went out they took a ride or when out to eat. They would drive to the beach but never get out of the car.
My folks would then drive to their house in Maine and Mom would sit on the porch and watch the boats go by. My Dad would walk the dog but I can’t recall my mother ever walking him.
My Dad loved to play hockey when I was a kid but my Mom made him give it up when he was 43 because he was too old!
I obviously didn’t learn that exercise is super important, especially as you age, from my parents but I learned it by how I don’t want to be.
I look at the woman at the gym and she reminds me why it is important to keep moving and try and stay in shape.
Bring on the Burpees!
Question of the day: What do you think about exercising and aging?