I did it! I’m fit! It took me 10 years to overcome my mental barriers and really totally embrace moving, exercise, being fit.

I always enjoyed physical movement: skiing, swimming, hiking, even some sports classes. I seriously got into yoga 13 years ago. I pushed myself to do a bit more from forever. But I was pushed away from exercise initially by the winning, team sport, who’s best attitude, and later in life by not feeling fit enough or thin enough or athletic enough.

I am now in the middle of the pack, fitter than the average person my age, but definitely not an athlete yet. But I crave exercise. The days when I don’t start with a good dose of aerobic exercise (kickboxing) or with yoga are bad days. I need to move, I need to jump, I need to run. On vacation, I started my day with a hike and a canoe trip on a lake… that was a good vacation.

I knew I needed to exercise to be healthy, so my trip into it started when I was 40. Like everyone, I focused on losing weight. When I started exercising more seriously it took me more than half a year to lose any significant weight. But I started to see changes much sooner. Things were easier: grocery shopping, getting in and out of my car, travel, luggage, going up and down stairs later in the day, cooking for hours, being ready to play with kids.

Forget the weight! Think about what is hard now that would be easier. I marvel every day. I find new things that were difficult a while back but are easy now: getting out of the bathtub, jumping jacks, getting my bike up a few steps. I enjoy trying new things: kickboxing. pole dancing, difficult yoga classes.

Forget your weight, it really doesn’t matter! Just think about the things you’d like to do that could be easy if you exercised every day. It’s a continuous joy that doesn’t equal seeing the scale show me a smaller number.

I am looking at my neighbors on the streets of Woodbridge, and I see some struggling to walk, to stay straight, to do anything physical. And I wish I could take them exercise with me. Maybe I can… one day… soon!

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