Do you remember when you first started exercising regularly? I do. It was after my 2nd child was born. That was 32 years ago! Whew – eeee….times does fly.
I was looking for an exercise class to get back into shape after having her. The only class available then was a belly dance class, so I signed up. The instructor was so thin that if she turned sideways and stuck out her tongue, she looked like a zipper. I admired her and I wanted to look just like her. She kept telling me to hold my tummy in and I told her that I was. She never got that I was only five weeks postpartum.
After that, a women’s fitness studio opened and a couple of friends and I signed up. The slogan was Be Some Body and I was determined that I would. The studio consisted of one giant room with machines lining the walls. There was a machine that you sat on and it was supposed to roll your butt off. Another machine had a belt that you put around your hips and stood still while the belt vibrated. This was supposed to slenderize your hips. There were many such gizmos in this studio, but it was the hourly group activity that got my attention. The leader would call all the women to the center of the room for callisthenics. There was no music used, back in the day, so we performed exercises to poems. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, what’s a bikini with a floppy bust.”, and “Bic Macs, little Macs, and French fries, this is how we got our thighs.” would echo through the room as we chanted them in chorus. I giggled and hee hawed my way to a stronger and leaner body. Then, I got pregnant again…shouldn’t have looked so good! LOL
It was a difficult pregnancy, but as soon as daughter number three was born, I was back into a regular exercise regimen. It was a little bit harder to find the time since I now had three young children, so I committed to just five minutes each evening to do leg lifts, crunches, and the like. I lengthened to 15 minutes and then 30. I never missed a day. It was about the time that Aerobics was born, too.
I joined a gym and started taking classes. I had never sweated so much in my entire life, not even when I would run three miles! I was hooked on group exercise from that time on. A year later I started teaching classes at my church and then got certified and began teaching at the gym where I was a member. One year later I was the Aerobic Coordinator and simultaneously started my climb up the fitness industry ladder.
I have been so privileged and blessed with opportunities in this industry and it has been wonderful to be able to help others achieve their fitness goals and adopt a healthier lifestyle. I still find humor in exercise. After all, who wouldn’t laugh at the change of fitness wear fashion through the years!
I wore the leotards, shiny pink tights, the leg warmers, and sweat bands. I progressed (or degressed) to the thong leotard, the capris, the short short pants, and the bell bottom workout pants. We have almost come full circle in the past twenty years. The capri’s have reinvented themselves and so have the workouts.
We used to stand in one place and hop for an hour. Now, we are back to standing in one place and throwing punches and kicks. In between was ( an is) hip hop, funk, low impact aerobics, step, interval, circuit, and many other types of training. We have added disciplines such as Yoga and Pilates. We Pump barbells, curl dumbbells, pull on surgical tubing, and roll around on balls. The circuit machines have replaced the butt roller and the hip shaker. But, one thing remains the same…exercise works! It doesn’t really matter which modality we choose, we will see results if we persevere.
If you don’t already exercise on a regular basis, start today. You can spare just five minutes a day. That’s how I got started and some days it is all the time I have, but everything we do counts.
Get moving and stay moving.