Don’t Fret About How Ya Do It, Just Do It

I’m a severe asthmatic.  In my youth – back in the Dinosaur Age of the 1970s – the standard wisdom was to limit physical activity, lest we turn blue from the exertion and end up in the Emergency Room.  This, coupled with my lack of coordination –I have to admit that my husband is accurate when he swears that I have, in fact, tripped over sidewalk paint  – meant that I was picked last for teams and thus turned my focus away from athletic pursuits to preserve any sort of self esteem.

In the decades since my youth, the benefits of improved lung capacity coupled with scores of new and better management tools have changed the standard wisdom about us wheezers and thus I am a gym regular.  While the interceding years have not increased my coordination, I still enjoy all the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training.  I’m fighting the good fight against the loss of bone density and shapeless body parts as well as working to insure that my extra pounds don’t shake too obviously even when I’m naked.

But, because this year is not only new but also heralds a ‘0’ birthday for me, I’ve added yoga to my workout repertoire to enable my muscles to extend my dense bones to even a fraction of their full length.

Today was my first yoga class of 2015.

It wasn’t pretty.


Imagine me the overweight [chubby by normal standards, obese by LA’s metric), graceless, middle-aged woman at a seaside yoga class with two other lithesome ladies, taught by a warm, knowledgeable, hunk.  But wait, there’s more – I’m finishing up round of Levaquin, a strong antibiotic which makes tendons even less cooperative with their non-athletic owner – yes, there is comedy gold in my trips to the gym especially when the class is yoga because every time I take a yoga class, I feel like I’m playing a losing game of Twister.

But ya know what, I didn’t worry about it.  Really.  Teacher-hunk graciously plied my uncooperative tendons (muscles and joints too – who am I kidding) with foam blocks, alternative poses and a sincere desire to see me get whatever I could out of our hour together.  And as I shifted my body into poses resembling warriors and dogs, I looked ridiculous but it didn’t matter because with each contortion I was improving my health.

I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to work out at all – and if I can make someone else smile while toning my body, that’s even better. So, as you work to implement your New Year’s resolutions, pat yourself on the back for the action itself and how it makes you feel – not how you look doing it.  Don’t be one of those unfortunate folks whose ego strength is based on things over which they have little or no control.  I sincerely fret for those poor souls.

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