Excuse me, are you listening? 11-23
Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dear Readers,
Healthy minds and bodies are an important part of living a quality life. No matter where you are in your life, imagine yourself stronger and full of energy.  
I have been working out. Yep, exercising!  I am trying not to keep track of the days and weeks but somehow I know that I am starting week 11 as of the printing of this edition.  I am so excited about the possibilities that exercise brings.  I know that it is hard but it has been so beneficial to my overall health.
I have been going to the gym at least five times a week.  I have never worked out before or had athletic endeavors.  I have been running and using weights.  I realize there has to be a willingness to train yourself to treat yourself better.  It sounds ridiculous but it is actually true.  
Yes, we are all busy and are taking care of a lot of different people, places and things.  Who better to put first than yourself so that you will be happy taking care of the people, places and things in your life? I highly doubt I will become a world class gymnast or get a gold medal as I prod along but I did know that I had to start somewhere.
Oh, there were a lot of excuses though.  My main one was that I thought I was so needed that I would not be able to find the time.  Well, that was shot down because the world has not ended since I started working out.  
I want you to know also that before you go and try to run a 10K race, do some sit ups or consider lifting weights that you should consult a physician.  It is like a car or a home inspection.  You need to make sure what you are dealing with before you begin to put stress on your body.  After that, make it a part of your schedule just as you do everything else. 
I joined a local gym and went for several months and stopped because I did not know what I was doing.  I also felt slightly embarrassed because it was just all so awkward.  I could only do five push ups.  I got tired of people asking me why I was going to the gym because I was skinny already.  There was no inquiry into my heart, cholesterol or blood pressure.  
I wanted to ask if being “skinny” reduced my chance of having a serious disease such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease.  Besides what is a person’s definition of “skinny” if they were not living in my skin. 
After all of that, I decided to ask my friend, Ena Busby, who lives very close to me  to go to the gym with me and that was the ticket.  We go together and support one another.  
Over the past couple of weeks, we have received more advice than we needed and needed more advice than we got.  However, we managed to “walk it out”. 
We also began to identify goals even though they were small ones.  I want to run in a 5K.  I have been carving out time to run extra when I feel an extra burst of energy.
There is always balance that is needed as well. We got someone who was well versed in the “art of working out” to help us figure out a routine that would help us achieve our goals.  
Even though most people start out with 3 days a week, I must admit it was not enough for me.  I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the fact that I did not go to the gym.
However, timing is everything.  I have difficulty going right after 5:00 pm because a lot of people go right after work.  The place is packed.  My measuring stick for patience was running thin so I decided that I was going to try some place different so I went to the Michigan Athletic Club (MAC) on a week complimentary membership.  
It was wonderfully overwhelming but it was good to see so many people working out.  It was a different experience than what I was used to but I guess that goes without saying.
I met a trainer, Walter Crockett, Jr. and he actually taught me a few things about working out that I did not know.  I did not take into consideration how much stretching would be of assistance to me.
So I had an hour with a personal trainer and that was awesome.  Walter told me about the benefits of stretching.  Our session started out with stretching.  I could feel the difference in my body.  I felt much limber and more in control.  
Walter explained that stretching helps improve your flexibility and decreases your risk of injury.  I was happy about that because sometimes I thought I was going to kill myself while working out. 
I am so appreciative that I am paying more attention to me.  If I do not who will?
I reallly loved going to the MAC but it was a bit pricey.  For now, I will have to forego the amazing time I had for a week and keep prodding along at Planet Fitness.  My long term goal is to be happy and healthy and that is all that really matters in this world.  
Love people,
Rina Risper
This was printed in the December 2, 2012 - December 15, 2012 Edition

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