30 Days of Gratitude: Day 11

In 2008, after a couple of years of near-total inactivity, I started walking around the track at the Y.  It was torture.  Every step hurt my feet, my back.  I couldn’t catch my breath.  But, I weighed 300 pounds, and I knew I had to start somewhere.

A few months later I started Water Walking—a slow stroll back and forth across the Recreation Pool (maximum depth around 4 feet).  Then, I added the water aerobics class for seniors (mostly stretching with a little cardio).

I added a second water aerobics class, and then a third.  I started using the weight machines and the recumbent bike.  Now I go to the “Boot Camp” water class with people my own age and younger, and I’ve started swimming laps on the weekends.  Oh, and there’s the Line Dancing class on Wednesday afternoons.

My perception of exercise has shifted radically in the past 3 years.  What drove me in the beginning was the desire to lose weight.  Then I learned what a vital element exercise is in managing bipolar disorder.  And once I stopped taking the psychotropics, I discovered I needed regular exercise to control fibromyalgia and arthritis pain those meds had masked.

Going to the Y has become part of my everyday routine.  I don’t think about it.  I don’t fudge.  I just get up in the morning and go.  This, in itself, is a miracle to me.  I also receive financial assistance, so what I pay for my annual membership is very affordable and a priority in my budget.

Every year I’m asked to write a thank-you note to the benefactors, which I’m delighted to do.  I tell them their generosity saved my life and continues to do so.  I like to imagine that makes their gift seem worthwhile.  It certainly is for me.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kitty
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:58:46

    This is such a good little piece of Gratitude. We can ALL benefit from exercise and it’s SO easy to push it aside. I really admire your “I just do it” attitude. I’m working on this myself. I know I ALWAYS feel better when I just do it… so why is it difficult? Ah, well… Still working on it.


    • Sandy Sue
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 09:49:40

      It *is* hard. I heard it takes 3 weeks to develop a habit. That’s 3 weeks of telling yourself every day to get up and chose exercise. HardHardHard. And you can’t just go on autopilot once the 3 weeks is over. Choosing is is easier, but the choice still has to be made. Hang in there, sister.


  2. the secret keeper
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 20:23:29

    you are quite disciplined in your regiment of exercise. i use to be able to walk and do aerobics in the pool at our local rec center. but now being an agoraphobic added onto my multiple psych and physical conditions i am unable to walk very well or go out of the house except to doc appointments and therapy. i liked the pool but am afraid of the environment. almost went back a few years back but after visiting it a few times just kind of freaked out. we’ll see how it goes in the future.

    yesterday, we saw the picture of a most wonderful looking dog and i told my partner if i had her i bet she would enable me to walk again. a good fantasy.

    i just don’t like people seeing me. i use to weigh more than i do now. i am under 300 lbs but have reached a plateau. my food intake is great and healthy foods and not much of anything. sometimes i forget to eat but b/c of blood sugars i have to be careful there. i congratulate you for your ability to achieve your goals.

    just wanted to let you know i have been following your 30 days of gratitude. you’re doing great and you are an inspiration. good luck on the rest of your 30 days of gratitude. ~jen


    • Sandy Sue
      Jul 17, 2011 @ 08:31:12

      Thanks, Jen. I hope you have access to a therapist who works with phobias. They’re so crippling, and avoidance only makes them stronger.
      Many blessings to you.


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