Monday, January 18, 2010

Trying My Best

This is a NuStep cross trainer exercise machine. It is one of two machines from the Clare fitness room that I can use, but unfortunately inertia often sets in and I stay away. I am, at best, a reluctant exerciser.

I'm sold on the value of staying active, but I seem to be the ultimate recliner potato. I am lazy and tend to be inactive. Anyway, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (barring special appointments and responsibilities) I appear for exercise classes on the 19th floor. The leader, Jan, is wonderful: always complimentary and encouraging no matter what one does or does not manage to do. "Modify this exercise" is her frequent instruction, usually directed to me. Why?

Some parts of the exercise routine are simply impossible for me. For one thing, I cannot raise my right arm; it's been that way since an accident in 1942, followed by another in 1952. By then, my arm was misshapen and nearly useless, although I continue to write with my right hand. Due to arthritis in my shoulders, my left arm can't be raised very far, either. Despite various bouts with physical therapy, arm exercises are a lost cause.

My legs don't work especially well, either. Two knee replacements helped, but I still lack strength and a sense of balance. I'm the one who can't get out of a chair without using my hands, and the one who clings to the back of the chair during most standing exercises.

Fortunately, my fellow senior exercisers are not toned athletes, but some of them, including some of those considerably older than I, do very well indeed. My many unathletic years seem to have caught up with me. I'm overweight and clumsy, even after more than a year of these exercise classes. It bothered me when our oldest resident, age 101, connected to her oxygen tank, did some of the excercises better than I did.

Many times, I've thought about discontinuing my participation in the exercise program. Still, I keep going. This is one area in which I cannot be a perfectionist, but I'm conquering my embarrassment and trying my best. Some movement is undoubtedly better than none! I'm reminded again, though, that old age is not for the weak. And I'll try to visit my favorite exercise machine regularly soon!


Nancy said...

Good for you! I, a couch potato all my life, am also trying to exercise! My knees are a problem with walking very much...your machine looks like a possibility. I'm 78 and have a husband who has many health issues, so I need to be able to keep going!

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Good for you, indeed! I am a reluctant exerciser, too, but I force myself to get on my treadmill daily, I'm always glad I did! Don't be embarrassed, you're doing something great for yourself and everyone should be in AWE!!

I'm new to the "blogosphere" and I just happened upon your site, I'm glad I did. I'm going to enjoy reading about your recovery!! Best of luck!!

Pat's Place said...

Good for you to stay as fit as possible. I have a friend who is a true couch potato and I notice a distinct decline in his physical condition as we move into this new year. Some of that could be rectified by some kind of general exercise.

One Woman's Journey said...

Do not stop. Do whatever you can, do the best you can.
If you knew me - you would say that is easy for you.
In my 70's and I have always been super active. I do yoga and walk and just moved into my home in the woods and will start my gardens soon.
I have no one to encourage me - just do it for myself as long as I can.
You can do it!!!

Mildred Garfield said...

I think you are doing great. Because you are where you are, you no doubt are doing a lot more than before you relocated.

I don't do much of anything in the way of exercise,
do a lot of sitting and very little walking and no dancing.

If I had a dance partner, that would get me moving. Fat chance!! ;-)