I’m normally at my fitness center in Florida a few minutes after it opens at 6:30 AM. Jean, soon to be 50 years of age, is always there ahead of me. I’ve been impressed by both the intensity and variety of her workouts, so I asked her to write her story. Here it is.
“My husband and I bought our house in southwest Florida in 2010. We decided that I would spend the winters here and “get settled” in the new community. It would be my job to be social director and make friends, so that when he retired, we would have a head start on a social life.
“I took that job seriously, and was VERY social! I went to the Club’s weekly happy hours, out to dinner and had a great time. At the end of the first season I had gained 20 pounds. I didn’t notice much at first, or at least I convinced myself that it wasn’t happening. That’s easy to do when you avoid the scale. I rationalized that I was exercising regularly, so everything must be fine. It wasn’t.
“This past summer I saw a photo of myself and I didn’t like what I saw. I got serious about my diet, gave up alcohol for six weeks, and soon lost 25 pounds. I also changed my body shape considerably. When I came back this season, my goal was to stay the same weight. I’m proud to say that I’ve kept my promise.
“I work out four days a week. If you ask anyone at the fitness center, they’ll tell you that I push myself plenty! I get my heart rate up, do both strength and cardio exercises, and work up quite a sweat. I weigh myself every morning at the same time.
“The biggest incentive for me is to see the men and women who have obviously given up on fitness. They are everywhere and I never want to be one of them. At some point in their lives they decided that it wasn’t important to move their bodies.
“Exercise is like golf; both are very difficult at first, and you won’t be good at either one right away. The difference is that the payoff for fitness is far greater than with golf. I enjoy being fit. Clothes look better on me, my golf drives go farther, and I feel better about myself. You only get one body to use during your life. It will take care of you in the end if you take care of it along the way.
“A man at the gym commented on how hard I was working out. He asked me if I was training for something specific. Without hesitation I said, ‘Yes, I’m training not to become my mother.’”