Gym or no Gym…..

Not an easy question.  I’ve done both.  After I had cancer, my DH bought me a gym membership.  Thanks to the nifty machine that I would not have access to at home, I have full motion of my arm on the side I had surgery.  However, my contracted personal trainer had a minor melt down when I refused to get on the scale.  He demanded why was I there if not to loose weight.  “I want to take a gallon of milk out of the refrigerator without dropping it.”  Mission accomplished; I can do that now.  Unfortunately, the gym TV channel was set to a show that was a trigger for me.  What do you call a person that pays for 6 months of gym membership and doesn’t go?  Pure profit.  Vic Magary is my in-my-email-box personal trainer.  He wrote a great article on how to choose a gym.

Now, my DH created in our house the basics of what I need from a Gym.  I have dumb bells of the size I use.  An elliptical in our TV room….yes, I will work on the elliptical much longer if I am watching TV, I have the remote.  This is a safe alternative for the fact that where I live with outdoor temperatures I know are unreasonable for exercising outside in the summer time.  I prefer outside when it is cool enough.  My sister and I walk at the park every week.  I love seeing the ducks, dogs, and herons.  I also enjoy the people there.  They are nice bunch.  Within an hours drive is plenty of desert hiking.  I also used my botanical garden membership as a safe place to walk.  Enclosed in a large area with security brings a bit of peace of mind for me.  I also spent several years at a dance studio.  I loved dancing.  Sadly the dynamics of the studio changed.  Yes, I am ultra sensitive to the attitude of the other people going.  For being oblivious to emotions for years, now I am hypersensitive.  (Which sometimes I find very annoying, but it is much better than being numb, in my opinion.)  About this time I joined a group of Karate students through the city.  Their goal is to improve and help each other improve.  Competition is met with cheering for each other.  Sparring is optional.  I don’t handle the direct contact very well.  I tend not to acknowledge my own pain so can end up getting severely hurt without saying a word.  One of my goals is to be kind to my body.  My depth perception is a bit off, so I often end up with bumps and bruises from running into things.  Last misadventure put my hand between a rolling cart of computers and a door knob.  My hand lost.  Fortunately, missed the bones, the bruise is spectacular.  Creating a place to exercise either alone or in a group, inside or outside, locked in a house or running outside…….find your space to exercise.

Why am I so insistent? I spent 3 years confined to a couch.  I could be up 20 minutes a day.  Here’s the kicker….as I struggled to regain my health I noticed a direct correlation between moving more and having more energy to move.  If you have health/physical challenges, check in with your doctor on whatever program you choose.  I do use video programs.  I have 2 email-trainers that sometimes agree with each other but more often not.  I am loving being able to touch my toes.  Keep up with grandkids.  Generally enjoy my physical body more every day.  Weight loss can be included but what you really want to unleash are the little hormones that race through your body from the physical exertion.  PTSD is a energy vampire sometimes sucking all my energy.  Exercising redirects that energy drain to my muscles.  You can look on line for all the scientific names and research as to why this works.  I know from experience the more I move the better I feel.  When depression creeps in the first thing that I want to quit doing is exercising.  It is an ongoing challenge for me to keep moving.  It is worth the effort and I am up for the challenge.  Head – shoulders – knees and toes – knees and toes – head – shoulders – knees and toes……….Start with 5 minutes,  I could walk around my house in 5 minutes.



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