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Another Day in the Country

Being fit as a fiddle

© Another Day in the Country

Everything was buzzing when we went to exercise this past week in Abilene. There seemed to be an electric current in the air as we set up to do our routine. It’s quite a bit of hoo-ha — at least, that’s what I call it.

There’s a step-up contraption on which you can vary the height. If you are feeling really peppy — like Jess most often is — you put a couple of lifts under it so you’re stepping higher. Jess even ups the exercise by holding five-pound weights.

Me? It’s just one lift. And I don’t carry weights.

Then there are rope gizmos that you clip onto something hanging from the ceiling. These are for stretches and squats. We put them behind a bar that stretches along the wall, so they are out of the way of people walking laps.

An elastic stretch band comes next and is one of the first things we use.

Jana set up this routine for us: Warm up for 15 minutes on the treadmill, do arm and hip exercises, head over to the rowing machine to elevate your heart rate, then to the steps and the hanging business to do more squats and stretches, repeat.

The goal is to repeat all of it three times.

We are up to two times when Jess goes over to her favorite step stairs, and I head into the weight area.

I’m supposed to (according to Jana’s instructions) do the treadmill again for cool-down walking, but I don’t always.

If I had a trainer there cheering me on, I might succumb and be more religious about each step of a routine designed to help me get up out of the easy chair easier.

I tell myself I’m doing pretty well just to do it at all!

Once we got set up, I noticed there were more people than usual.

Billy was washing windows; usually, he is behind a computer screen. Anita had her hair fixed specially.

It was then we discovered that Channel 3 was coming to do a “segment” on our health spa.

More and more people were showing up, and pretty soon the room was full of folks chatting as they exercised. It was fun to see!

One of the guys called out to another, “So, Joe, how long did it take you to get dressed this morning,” since all looked pretty spiffy in their exercise gear.

There were a lot of what I call “interesting people” present — some I see regularly and others I’ve glimpsed occasionally. 

There’s Bob, who just had his 96th birthday and is fit as a fiddle. Such a gentleman, he’s always smiling and friendly. I hope they interviewed him.

The treadmills were full up on this day. Usually there’s only two or three being used when I’m there.

I had to chuckle. Some of these fit walkers were really going at a clip. When they were done and the TV people hadn’t arrived yet, they slowed their pace as they waited.

I did my required 15 minutes of walking to “cool down” and started talking to one of the regulars on an exercise bike beside me only to discover that he had ridden (on the exercise bike) 2,700 miles in 27 days and had lost 50 pounds.

One of the spiffy looking gents who used to do ab exercises with some kind of floor contraption while I rode exercise bikes was there — mostly chatting with other guys he knew.

I’ve always enjoyed his patter. It amused me that he’d count his lifts from the floor out loud, only he’d cheat on purpose, “10, 11, 12, 15, 18, 24, 36…” and those who heard would smile.

A weightlifter who has such definitive muscles that I wonder where he finds regular clothes to wear was there, as was his trainer.

I asked him one day whether he competed in body building. He said he did this for his own amusement.

Whatever Channel 3 did as a feature, whomever they interviewed, the program is supposed to be on next Tuesday, I think.

You can imagine that a lot of the people present will be watching the show with renewed interest.

Folks at the gym have become part of my extended family. Some of them have even become friends. They notice when I’m not there and welcome me back when I come in the door.

It’s lovely to see a smiling face in the morning. When Anita says, “Hi, Pat, how’s it going?” when I walk in the door, and Bob calls out, “So what’s new in Ramona,” it makes my day!

When my daughter was here at Christmas, she said, “Aren’t you about ready for a new exercise regime?”

Among other things, Jana is an exercise trainer. I assured her that the routine I already had was fine and dandy and I still haven’t done the full number of rotations, on another day in the country.

Last modified March 21, 2024

 

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