Yet another sign of adapting to change as I age has shown itself. Back in the day, like when I was a kid, the only people who regularly spent time at the gym were those who were involved in some kind of specific training. Mainly, frequent attendees were boxers or gymnasts or others who were training for some Olympic sport. The thought of anyone else being at the gym was ludicrous!
Even when gym membership started to become more popular, it seemed so unnecessary to me. After all, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was actively chasing my toddler, preschooler and young grade-schooler. With no electronic devices to take up our time, we spent much more time running, playing, biking and swimming than viewing a various assortment of screens. During those years, even TV watching time was limited. Most days there was nothing worth watching on the three available channels anyway! So, with such a level of physical activity in my day-to-day life, who needed a gym?
Fast forward to today. All my kids are grown and gone. My daily activity level has plummeted. Computer screens and electronic tablets consume much of my time – especially now that I am retired. Various minor injuries to my foot and shoulder have further limited my mobility and efforts to be active. The results are obvious. My energy level is not what it used to be. My stamina is down. And, for the first time in my life, I am beginning to feel old.
So, I have joined a gym. I have prodded my husband (who actually admits to the same feelings as me) to join with me. We never were big on “date nights”. But, this experience is not what I had imagined date nights being! But, at least we are spending time together.
I will readily admit that I am a bit intimidated by the multiple rows of confusing fitness equipment that a young employee eagerly demonstrated to us. But, I am intrigued by the stepper and elliptical machines. And, I am closing in on a mean 20-minute mile on the treadmill! And, this is the first time in our lives that my husband and I can actually walk alongside one another without me running to keep up with his long-legged stride.
Will I ever become a “gym rat” or strive to become totally “buff”? Probably not. But, I am encouraged by the noticeable increase in my stamina. And, I now realize that gyms can serve a purpose to more than athletic trainees. As I increase my routine, I may even become brave enough to get better acquainted with a few of those intimidating pieces of equipment. But, for now, I am happy to shoot for my first 18-minute mile!
If you're pursuing a healthier lifestyle like we are, you might enjoy these family-friendly, healthy recipes. You may also enjoy reading Confessions of an Old Mom: The Heart of the Matter.