‘No man does it all by himself
I said young man, put your pride on the shelf
And just go there to the YMCA’ – Village People
This morning I went to the Salem YMCA well, there’s nothing like getting your ass kicked in Spin class by an instructor coming off surgery and celebrating his 75th birthday… to make you realize anything is possible as we age. It just takes a bit of reflection and being honest with yourself to understand that only you are responsible for doing the best you can to take care of your body and live your best life.
I’ve never been a fan of exercise. I admire people who run or bike or go to the gym and lift weights on their own. Not me. I need a class to go to and an instructor to push me and help me with my form but its all good. After awhile it becomes a habit for me to show up at a class and go for it. I start to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally and then I start to miss it if I’m traveling.
So how does somebody like me who doesn’t like to exercise learn how to like to exercise? Well, uhh, thats a good question I often ask myself. I can’t really answer it because I’d rather be on the couch typing this blog or watching TV. But I can tell you that what works for me is to focus on the benefits of exercise and find a class or a routine that’s challenging so I’m pushing myself forward. I think its okay to change things up a bit too. For awhile I was doing yoga at swanky studios, then I did Bikram yoga for awhile and now I’m switching it up on a regular basis with spinning, yoga and weight training classes at my local YMCA.
And how do I get myself out of bed to exercise? I focus on how I know I’m going to feel throughout the day if I go. My moods are better, my body feels good and I’m less stressed. I try to fit in a few minutes of meditation too just to clear my head to start the day.
And so I’d like to end this blog post with a little poem I’ve written for the Salem YMCA:
Roses are red
Blue is the sky
Oh how I love
The Salem Y
Dennis, Meg, Janice,
Jerry and Jimmy
All these instructors help keep me
And for that I am grateful
I sing your praises every day
There’s nothing quite like falling in love
With your local YMCA
Get out there and exercise! Who knows? Anything is possible. You could even end up becoming a skinny poet.