Pacificmelody's Blog

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The Exercise Class

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Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties (There was no time for a group shot of our class!)

One of the nice things about the apartments where I live is the regular exercise classes held in our Fitness Center on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It is led by a certified fitness instructor named Dana, and I look forward to our time together more than she can know.

I moved into my new home in late January two years ago. By March I overcame my shyness, put on my exercise clothes and presented myself. Everyone was very welcoming, and Dana suggested that since I had never done weight training, 3-pounders would be a good place to start. I’m now up to 5-pound weights, which I think is my upper limit.

I had also never joined a class before, being something of an exercise lone wolf, and I learned two things right off. The first is that exercising with others is much more fun than going it alone. The second is that it keeps me honest. I’ve only missed classes when I’ve been under the weather or out of town.

Our class consists of all women most of the time. Since the age range runs the gamut from the occasional 20-something to a couple of ladies in their 80’s and one 90-year old, a lot of the exercises focus on strength and balance. Since I began working out on a regular, faithful schedule, I feel more comfortable in my body and am not constantly walking into door frames. I even have modest biceps and can actually get the caps off of jars now, without asking a man to do it for me! But better than all this are the delightful ladies who comprise the class.

First let me introduce Rhoda, who was always dashing in a minute or two late. It was Rhoda who first befriended me, and who introduced me to some of my dearest new friends. Sadly for us, she moved to Texas last year, to be near two of her daughters, but she visits us. In fact she was here last month. Rhoda is a real character, with a great sense of humor. She and I competed for class clown and the honors were pretty even. I miss her.

Then there is Mary, who is a serious bridge player on the side. In class she is quiet and neat and can do those danged Yoga-type exercises with her eyes closed and not holding on. It’s the thing I most dislike about her! Virginia keeps us amused with her collection of sweat shirts and T-shirts. I think she’s the most rabid Oregon State Beaver fan in the bunch, although there is serious competition. Our friend Shirley is away for a while, attending her son, the new Mayor’s, inauguration in his Indiana town. We’re all as proud as if he were ours, and she can’t stop beaming.

Helen is a tiny, white-haired pixie, and her smile and laugh are quite contagious. You want to tell her a joke to hear her laugh. Helmi, on the other hand, is taller and silver-haired, with a charming German accent that many years in this country have not eradicated.

Then we have our world travelers, Carolyn and Betsy. Carolyn and her husband have family in Germany whom they visit, and Carolyn steps in for a friend in upper New York State who runs a bed and breakfast. If it were not for her, they’d never get away. We never know when Betsy will be off again. Most recently, I believe she went to Russia, or no, there was that trip to Cabo. Betsy is the most senior and most globe-trotting of our number, and we’re all in awe of her.

About Dana I can’t say enough. She is unfailingly patient and kind. She has designed a program that works for all of us, and I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her help. She’s on vacation next week, and she’s earned it, but we’ll all be glad to have her back!

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Author: Melody J Haislip

I'm either a transplanted East Coaster or a born again West Coaster. My heart kept pulling me toward Oregon, and when I followed it I found my dream, which I am living daily. My dream of becoming a writer has come true as well. I am in the company of people who speak my language, and the sense of community is healing hurts I didn't know were there. I am very grateful for my enormous good fortune.

10 thoughts on “The Exercise Class

  1. Sounds like you have good friends indeed. I am happy you enjoy those fitness classes. 🙂

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  2. I just love that picture of the gals

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  3. Much as I joke around, the benefits of regular exercise cannot be overstated. I’m proud of me and my friends. We clap for ourselves at the end of each class.

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  4. Daisy’s “mom” here:
    Our community has yoga classes that I finally screwed up my courage enough to attend about 3 years ago, and I loved it! It really is so much more fun to exercise in a group and I found myself pushing harder than when I worked out at home alone. Since I started my current job, I haven’t been able to attend any longer and I really miss it. Just getting past that fear of showing up for the first time was the biggest step!

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  5. Hello, Daisy’s “mom”. I think of these ladies as my exercise family. We keep each other motivated and on track, and I look forward to my time with them each week. Hope you’ll soon be able to take your class again.

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  6. Oregon State Beaver Fan, in place of Trailblazer

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  7. I found your blog through the BC directory. It was really fun to read your post about all of your classmates. I am sure they think of you as fondly as you do of them. The picture you used fits the post perfectly. I loved it and I look forward to reading more from you.

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    • Hello, SavvyP. Yes, I love the picture, too. You’ll notice that back in the day they didn’t expect women to have little twig arms and legs. Some of these women are so thin, it looks as though you could snap their limbs with one hand. That’s not healthy or attractive to me. I love my class and my exercise friends!

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