I like to get my New Year’s resolutions stated, started — and failed — early. That way I can begin the new year with my guilt gone and sense of order intact. “Same old. Same old me” is my mantra.
We all know exercise is good for you, at least that’s what the experts say. But I’m beginning to have my doubts. And fitness slacker that I am, I dare to pose the question:
Is exercise really good for everyone?
I for one am not so sure.
Early New Year’s Resolutions
For the past six weeks, I’ve dramatically stepped up my efforts to shed fat and get fit. I was already taking Pilates twice a week. So, I thought I was in somewhat decent shape.
I thought wrong.
I needed an aerobics workout. So, I started with an Aqua Fit class twice a week. I’ve already written about my struggle to buy a bathing suit, but that was nothing compared to surviving this water aerobics class. I thought it would be easy on the joints and muscles.
I thought wrong.
The instructor is a bear. He tolerates no talking and, as a former dancer, expects us fitness-seekers to adhere to dancer-like standards of “Stomach in, shoulders back” and kicking with the correct form.
At the end of each session, I limp and look like an injured water buffalo. Exhausted, I rely on the safety handrail to hoist myself out of the pool. No comely Venus on the Half Shell emerging from water am I!
I also signed up for a “Core and Balance” class. Aren’t I the ambitious one? Or the one who should have her head examined?
The class is not going well. Yet. as an almost oldster, worrieed about balance problems and brittle bones, I keep going.
As a child, I had a series of severe ear infections that left me with nerve damage and a permanent ringing in my right ear.
At the time, I had significant bouts of dizziness, even falling on numerous occasions. Yet, I never thought equilibrium issues would be long-term.
In my twenties, I tried Yoga classes but quit in frustration. When it came to one-legged balancing for tree pose, I swayed like a willow buffeted by Category 5 hurricane winds. I never improved. It was embarrassing. Also, dangerous to me and nearby posers.
Now as an almost oldster, increasingly aware of the dangers of falling, I’m committed to “fixing” my equilibrium woes.
I thought this Core and Balance class would be helpful. Helpful? More like Hell. In the Yoga classes of my youth, I was a ripped-out-at-the-roots willow. Today I resemble a hippo in a stampede! I shake. I waddle. And I make thunderous sounds as I grunt and moan.
Two weeks ago, I rolled off a round exercise ball. The pain to my knee was sharp, but the impact on my self-esteem was worse. The instructor, a sweet, coordinated young thing, looked at me flat on my back and softly asked if I was alright. “Sure,” I smiled and lied. Then, I limped for five days. Meanwhile my bruised ego still throbs.
The instructor constantly praises the other gray-haired ladies in the class. “Great progress.” “Good job.” “You’ve already got great balance.”
To me, she says, “You’re so loyal in coming to class each week.”
New Year’s Resolutions Re-newed
Handsome Hubby reassures me each aching day and says, “Keep at it. I’m so proud of you.” He also says, “Give it time. It will get easier.” I fear he’s wrong. I don’t think this new exercise routine will ever get easier. I’m old. I ache. Why can’t I remain chubby, unfit, and ungraceful?
But just when I’m ready to give up, I read another article that says exercise increases longevity and can help prevent brain decline. How can I ignore that?
So, despite the aches and pain, I’m making an early New Year’s resolution to persevere.
Here’s to seeing you at the gym. Or the chiropractor’s office!
🖌️ 🖌️ 🖌️
Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” more commonly called Venus on the Half Shell, depicts the goddess of love rising from the water on a giant scallop. Painted in 1485, the massive work hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Venice.