The View From Here: Quest For Fitness (Vol. XXIV)
By Ken DeLaat
My past history includes a lengthy litany of less than steadfast stabs at fitness. When we lived in our fair metropolis to the south I belonged to a number of gyms, had a membership at the Y, and (dating myself considerably) frequented racquetball clubs. During those years I’d sporadically attend through the winter then once warm weather hit, disappear to play ball, swim, or chase around my then-young children.
The past couple of decades or so, there has been a lengthy lapse of these exercise-related efforts. I no longer play ball, swimming is done to merely cool off between pontoon-based naps and my child chasing is limited to playing with Ms.Harper the precocious 2 year old who...
...is the youngest of the four incredibly good looking, remarkably intelligent and all around likeable human beings Lil and I are honored to call our grandchildren.
About a year and a half ago during a meeting with my longtime family Doc he hinted….well perhaps strongly recommended would be more accurate….that I become a bit more, uh, active than what was reported had been my pattern. Apparently the occasional lifting of oneself from the recliner in search of the remote or to forage for food items is not considered an adequate wintertime workout.
This led to a membership at Tamarac.
From November through the winds of winter and beyond I attended 2-3 times weekly to walk, use a few machines and swim along with a mandatory steam session-my absolute favorite part of each visit.
Then came May and the launching of this journalistic enterprise along with the advent of warm weather leading to visits at the facility being considerably diminished.
With November came a return but truthfully other than walking I’ve never known if what I was doing was adequately beneficial. Well, other than the steamer of course, an activity that seems to benefit my state of mind much more than the state of my body.
Given this lack of workout wisdom, along with a suggestion from Ms. Lil, a venture into a previously untried pursuit was initiated. A personal training session.
We signed up for a series of 8 and I had my initial meeting with my assigned trainer Marissa an agreeably pleasant young woman who sat down with me, asked many questions and with seemingly endless patience listened to my ftness goals (“I’ve always wanted be a relief pitcher for the Tigers, does that count? ”). She took my blood pressure , pulse , and measured my BMI which turned out to be 20 .When I grimaced, imagining that the number screamed “Out of shape man in the house!” Marissa assured me that the number was actually quite good giving me momentary pause as to whether the recliner/refreshment regimen was perhaps not so bad after all.
We scheduled 2 sessions the first on Tuesday. It was late afternoon and after an hour of being introduced to a variety of new venues I took a swim and a steamer then went home and felt the soreness that reveals various long dormant body parts in need of some attention.
The next morning my getting-ready-for-work preparation time was a bit elongated due to an issue with regard to getting socks on. It seems the act of bending over was proving a bit more complex than usual.
But you know.... I felt a little better. Likely it was from the psychological lift of doing something personally productive to the old carcass but there was a definite lift.
Two days later was round two and once again we ventured into exercise areas heretofore unexplored. Marissa proved to be a gifted guide with the ability to be encouraging supportive and yet direct about what the session would involve and why. She often asked how the weight or the activity was feeling to ensure my not overdoing it (fat chance) and possessed the aforementioned patience along with a good sense of humor (both required given her pupil’s personal propensity toward combating seriousness at every level).
Now it’s Friday. My calves are mooing a bit, my sides seem to have tightened considerably despite no change in their appearance whatsoever and I find myself being introduced to my triceps as if meeting a distant cousin at a late in life family reunion.
And so far, well worth the effort despite the accompanying aches and pains associated with any personal activity more rigorous than those marathon remote searches.
The plan is twice a week for four weeks with the end result being a lean and lithe reflection of restored robustness.
Or maybe just the ability to open the pickle jar without risking a hernia.
At any rate, I’ll keep you posted.
“Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it I wash my mouth out with chocolate.”- Charles Schultz