It’s still a First Person Friday, People.
I may not always be hauling my tattoo’dass self down the path he’d imagined for me yet he supports me 100% none the less.
I LOVE YOU DAD!
As I read MizFit I realize the differences in the ways that different generations have approached “exercise.”
Growing up we had “exercise” in gym classes, but while we were in school and afterwards our exercise really took an entirely different form. What might be thought of as exercise now was “fun” then.
My friends, who were much better at it than I ever was, played tennis, handball and similar games.
Others of us played basketball long after we were any good at it.
After a lunch hour or of evening playing ball we felt tired, not virtuous. We walked because we could get where we wanted to go that way. In the process we did all—or many—of the right things.
Health clubs were non-existent and gyms were for serious boxers and weight trainers.
But then the world changed.
I no longer could walk places without risking life and limb crossing expressways or spending ridiculous amounts of time doing something that was much faster in a car.
The first obvious sign of the change was an exercycle that appeared in our basement complete with a basket for the book I was reading and a view of the basketball games on TV.
Later it gave way to a treadmill with a better view of the TV. In between there was an abortive attempt at recapturing one’s youth with some fellow “mature adults” at the high school gym one evening a week. Basketball no longer was my game.
The final step in the transition was getting up early to walk with my wife at the shopping plaza about a five minute (drive) from the house. From one end to the other is exactly 0.5 miles. Two trips back and forth and we had done the requisite two miles.
Did the store windows change? Who else was walking that day? All the time we walked past a health club for whose membership our health insurance was willing to pay!
Join? Not for us.
We would leave after sometimes having coffee and half a roll or bagel at the coffee shop.
Sometime during our walks we would talk about the club, but that was all.
I am not sure what the caused us to try the club. I know it was my wife’s suggestion.
Maybe it was the seasonality of our walks. It can be cold here in the late fall through early spring. Whatever it was, we now are almost “gym rats.”
If we are in town we have our regular schedule of classes and individual visits.
Is it good? You bet. Are we healthier? I know it hasn’t hurt. And we have even made new friends.
Am I sorry we didn’t join sooner? Maybe, you can teach an old dog new tricks—but it takes time!
Im compelled to add that you failed to mention how you would always encourage us to be active even if it wasnt your particular passion.
Even if we both knew that I (we?) enjoyed the donuts consumed AFTER we hit tennis balls at the park far, far more than the ball hittage itself.
Even if we both knew my inability to get the ball even remotely close to the basket when we shot hoops would preclude me from being picked first in gym class let ALONE by the (then nonexistent) WNBA.
What didnt we know? The first woman I’d meet who lifted weights (ok, *soup cans*) would inspire me to do something Id pursue for a lifetime.
That woman? Your mom.