Monday, July 13, 2009


I’ve decided to exercise. O h really, I have! And yes, I can hear some of you laughing.
You are probably remembering the times I said I’d be taking the stairs instead of the elevator because I’d decided to start an exercise program. Or maybe you once heard me say I had started doing sit-ups while listening to talking books. Or you might be recalling the time I bought a treadmill—Millie, I called her—because I’d decided to start an exercise program. And you might have heard how Millie and I got going great guns, and how that continued on until I got really, really tired of Millie, and then she hurt my ankle. And you probably heard that I gave Millie to Ruth, who eventually moved out of the house, taking Millie with her. So I forgive you for laughing.
But I really have decided to start an exercise program. It’s my current hope project. In fact, I have already begun. I have been to five aquafit classes, four deep water and one shallow. So far I haven’t quit. That’s a reason for hope.
To protect myself from failure, I have embarked on this adventure without setting any goals—other than going twice a week--which I suppose is a goal I could fail to meet, though it hasn’t happened yet. Just to be on the safe side, I have promised myself that I won’t panic and end the whole program if it does.
David and Rachel have been helping with the project, getting in the water with me, nurturing my self-esteem with snippets of praise, interpreting the instructor’s instructions, protecting unsuspecting cohorts from the chill of my accidental embrace. Deep or shallow, an arm-flailing blind water-jogger with her ears full of loud music is a dangerous thing.
So I’ve decided to start an exercise program, and that’s all I can say, except that I hope to continue it twice a week, and I hope to be able to go on my own and be included when nobody is available to go with me.
Being included will be the biggest challenge of all, given the barriers that have to be overcome. I need a class in a place I can get to on the bus at a time that works for me, taught by an instructor who can figure out how to include me without excluding others. Not easy, but possible—maybe. Where there’s hope, there is always doubt. Somehow my new program needs to fit in amongst choir practices and evening work commitments. I’m thinking 6:00 AM (Not too difficult to understand why it might be hard to find an exercise companion). And as for a savvy instructor, well, I can assure you that they do exist. I’ve encountered a couple already—though not at 6:00 AM.
So I’ve decided to start an exercise program. Given the number of aches and pains I’ve developed in the past few years it’s the least I can do, a contribution toward physical and meantal wellness, a preventative favour to fellow citizens worrying about how much they’ll have to pay for my future health care. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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