The View From Here- Quest For Fitness Continues
By Ken DeLaat
“If you knew you were going to live this long don’t you think you would have taken better care of yourself?”- Annual birthday message from my friend Tim who says he’s not really my friend even though he is.
No, not through my life unless there’s a chance I live to be 130 but halfway through my 8 session personal training experience aimed at jump starting a late life physical renaissance leading to a buffed and rock hard physique along with the endurance of a marathoner and the stamina of …..
Well, realistically perhaps more like maintaining the ability to remain in the same size pants and make it up...
...a flight of stairs without pausing periodically, but we’re into progress not perfection and believe me from a sexagenarian who ascribes to sedentarian ways making it to the gym on a regular basis is definitely progress.
Last week in addition to two meetings with my Tamarac Fitness Coach Marissa who has kindly coaxed me through a myriad of exercises aimed at reawakening muscles and tendons long ignored, a stab was taken at a class called ‘Pound’.
Lifetime Spousal Companion Lil who possesses not only an uber-patient personality, but an uncanny ability to talk me into many experiences that would remain forever unexplored if left to my own devices, convinced me to join her in giving it a try.
Unsure as to what was involved in Pound we entered the room where folks were pulling down floor mats and helping themselves to a pair of drumsticks.
“This could be a challenge,” I thought, given a history of having no discernable sense of rhythm whatsoever.
The sticks brought back memories of kindergarten music class and the rhythm band we formed for a Christmas show. The teacher first handed out the tambourines and my raised hand was ignored. Then came the bells and again my pleas were pretty much disregarded. As Mrs. Beemer went down the list and connected various musical items to the others she was left with 6 boys to whom she gave sticks. Drumsticks that we were to clack together as a group and known by all as the lowliest of the instrumental array that came out of her container.
I don’t recall much about the show other than losing my grip on one of my sticks early in the performance and just making a waving motion with one while looking around for its missing mate.
Seems Mrs. Beemer’s assessment of where I stood on the musical talent scale was pretty accurate.
Given my short and unsuccessful experience with these items I took hold of a pair but not without a bit of trepidation. The instructor came in and after an explanation of what we were to be doing cranked up some tunes that seemed to coincide with our movements and we were off.
Once into it I realized that in addition to requiring some rhythmic moves associated with tapping the sticks on the floor this workout entailed frequent bending over as well as from side to side.
“Ok, I can do this,” I thought. “Marissa has guided me toward increasing my flexibility in our 4 sessions so I got this.”
Well, kind of.
I kept my eye on Lil standing directly to my left since she seemed to take well to the instructions being given on an ongoing basis while I kind of floundered along frequently being well out of step with the class. Secretly I thought of how grateful I was that this was not a team sport or rhythm band since in baseball terms I would have surely been relegated to right field or, more likely, the bench.
During a break I asked Lil how long the class was to be. She said a half hour and by that point I figured we were nearly done since I was exhausted. I looked at the clock and by some twisted form of cosmic defiance involving the entire concept of time only 7 minutes had passed.
I got through the final 23 minutes though there was a good deal of ‘coasting’ during some of the more rapid elements. It was a bit of a struggle but the modicum of flexibility obtained from the workout sessions made it less of a quantum leap than it might have been going in cold.
I might even give it another try or two to supplement the training sessions, the walking, the occasional swimming and, of course, the mandatory steam room routine.
And the best thing about it?
Didn’t lose a stick.
Not even once.