Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Pain, No Gain

Each New Year's Day, I come up with a list of resolutions for myself. This year, I decided I want to challenge myself physically.

In additon to trying to keep my girlish figure, I am discovering muscles I never knew I had. Mostly because they hurt.

I have taken several Zumba classes this summer in addition to my usual pilates class. Apparently I am not the only one who has made this resolution because the class is filled with overwieght, middle-aged women with a few 20-somethings sprinkled in. You have not lived until you've seen a 200-pound, 50-year-old woman bouncing around to the music of the Black-Eyed Peas.

After a few years of competing in mostly five kilometer races, I have also decided to walk the 10-mile race in the Crim Fesitival of Races this summer. I have joined a training group that is--you guessed it--moslty middle aged people.

Why is it that we suddenly wake up in our forties and decide a change is necessary? We certainly could have been doing a better job of this in our twenties and thirties, which would of course head off the need to lose all that extra weight once our 40th birthday rolls around.

One reason is that families and jobs keep us so busy in our younger years that we don't have time worry about expanding waistlines. Once the kids are more independent and our careers are established, we then realize our figures rival that of Shamoo the Killer Whale.

It doesn't help that television shows, commericals and magaine ads blast us with models and celebrities with perfect physiques. I've never seen the show "Jersey Shore," but the cast was on the "Today" Show not long ago. One of the male characters actually has a named his abdominals and calls them "The Situation." I thought that was interesting because we have a nickname for my husband's abdominal muscles as well. We refer to them as "Missing In Action."

Even my husband, however, has caught the middle-aged fitness bug. He recently began jogging and hopes to lose at least 30 pounds.

Getting in shape at any age is a laudable thing, and I applaud all those who take steps to live longer, healthier lives even if they do get a late start. Just make sure you visit your local Costco or Sam's Club first and stock up on the Motrin.

And to all of those 20-somethings who run circles around us in the park, a word of advice: Stay out of my way or I will hit you with my cane.

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