Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quirk #3 - Journaling and Exercise

3. I get up early (5:30 a.m.) at least 5 mornings a week to journal first and then exercise--even though I am retired. It just starts my day off right!

My husband took the picture on the left yesterday. The lady in blue is a personal trainer but also a good friend named Rebecca. Rebecca is a wonderful help when I have questions about strengthening specific muscle groups. She was a marvelous help through both of my hip surgeries and I was back to the gym in record time because she even came to my house and helped me with exercises at home--terrific massages also!

Talking about Rebecca as a friend reminds me of how many other friends I have made at the gym over the 12 years that I have been going there. Max often precedes me on those machines you can see in the picture, and he can push or pull double the weight that I can. I often tell him that he is a tough man to follow!

Helen has long been my inspiration in exercise. I first met her when I began going to this gym and figured she was about my age although she could run circles around me and was as limber as a pretzel. One day, as I was admiring her flexibility during our stretches, our talk drifted to our age. We compared years and I discovered that she was about 15 years older than I am. My mouth fell open and I decided then and there that I wanted to "grow up" to be like Helen! She is still 15 years older than me and we still meet on the side-by-side treadmills where we catch up on family news and exercise progress.

The dressing room at the gym is also a place where I have found good friendships. Our little 8:00 a.m. group has decided that there are few problems that we cannot put our collective heads together and solve. And those women continue to amaze me! One is a very talented artist. Another woman is just five years younger than I am and still participates in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii each year! Another surprised us recently by telling us that her book had just been published. We did not even know she had written a book! Her book is Journeys of Heartache and Grace: Conversations and Life Lessons from Young People with Serious Illnesses. Here is a picture of my very own copy--autographed by the author!

Going to the gym is a wonderful way to start my day, boost my metabolism, keep my body in good working order and catch up with friends I have made there.

Now it is your turn to write. Journal about your attitude toward rising early in the morning, exercise and friendships you have made along the way.

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