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Thoughts on a Monday

Story ID:11323
Written by:Carol J Garriott (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Organization:home/retired
Story type:Diary/Journal Entry
Location:El Dorado Kansas United States
Year:2017
Person:CJ Garriott
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ďAt your age, why are you working so hard in class?Ē

Easing tired muscles in the hot tub at the YMCA after water tabata class, we had been celebrating the birthday of one of the group, and sharing each otherís age. A member of the class had turned to me and asked, after I mentioned I had celebrated my 82nd birthday a few months before.

Her question stunned me, to say the least. What I said was, ďBecause I can?Ē

I figured with the questionerís obviously impaired thinking process, there was no use giving the full answer.

Which was: At my age, Iím getting a late start to fitness. I donít have unlimited time to get myself in shape. If Iím to enjoy my remaining years, as many of them as I can manage, I must get fit, and I can do routines in the water that would be impossible ďon landĒ.

Five years ago, on my return to Kansas after nearly 40 years in Texas, I needed a walker to get about very much. I was overweight, with bad knees, and my thinking was this: OK, Iím an old lady, this is the way it is. I can deal, Iíll do the best I can.

Then I joined the El Dorado YMCA and started water aerobics, joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), had two complete knee replacements, and all that has changed.

With the support and guidance of my TOPS chapter, I lost the extra pounds, and am tightening up and building muscle and endurance in water tabata at the Y three days a week to routines fueled by hard-pounding music that inspires the class to do more than they think they can.

My doctor encouraged me to add walking to my exercise routine for my bones, as water aerobics is not weight-bearing exercise, needed for our bones. At a mere year since the second knee replacement, after beginning with only 2 blocks, I have worked up to briskly walking a mile three or four days a week on the days I donít have water tabata.

I like walking up the street from home, enjoying varying flowers along the route as the seasons evolve. I drove around in the car to determine an approximation of a mile. Last winter, when weather prohibited such, I would do thirteen laps on the track at the Y which equals a mile.

So, to wind this up, I realize the answer to my water aerobics classmate was actually the correct one: because I can!

I learned years ago in some self-improvement classes that what you must pay attention to what you are thinking or saying, as what you say is what you get. Nowadays, when my fellow devotees of the fitness life ask me how I am, I respond ďI am amazingĒ!

And I am.