When I was 65 a friend of mine gave me the book Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge. It rocked my life! Written by a doctor and his 70-year-old patient, they each gave their commentary on becoming and staying active in later years. The humor…of both of them sold me.
Every once in a while, in my adult life, I’d been tempted to pay money to exercise. I’d join a club only to be a flake and not go. I’m not sure what that was about.. Maybe it was as simple as not wanting to lift weights, swim or run inside.
I did get into running…outside…in my 30s. My husband was a runner. 13 marathons! Yikes!
I remember the first time I ran. “Come on,” he said. “Just put one foot in front of the other. We’ll run to the zoo in Lincoln Park.” Oh my goodness! The strain on my lungs convinced me I had to do this…to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Eventually 6 miles was easy. I did that in the mornings with Tim (he went much further and faster than I did) for a number of years in Lincoln Park in Chicago…and then in Grant Park…until I was hit by a car crossing Lakeshore Drive by the Field Museum. It wasn’t bad…just a hit strong enough to gash my hip and toss me up on the green grass…no major damage…but a scare. This event shifted me…as such events in my life seem to do.
I gradually left practicing law and developed a consulting and coaching business in our loft in downtown Chicago…and then eventually in our home in Indiana where my heart is. I began walking…taking long walks with our dogs up and down all the hills and through the woods…noticing things like the coming and going of shelf ice, the “surrendering” in the winter of the dune grass and cattails…the early shoots of dune grass and skunk cabbage… the early birds and buds of native flowers in the spring.
Time passed and, yup, I turned 65. That book, Younger Next Year given to me by my friend, was a gift from heaven. The book advised me to join a health club. OK…so I joined Omni Fitness in Chesterton, Indiana. “Now,” I wondered, “What do I do here?” The person taking me on a tour showed me the Spin Room. “”Well…I suppose I could ride a bike,” I thought. I signed up for Spin classes. The first one didn’t kill me. It dramatically changed my life. Over the next week, I fell in love. My body got accustomed to the bike seat. I was in heaven. I LOVED SPINNING!
I became a “regular” at the club. I was spinning five days a week. I couldn’t get enough of it.
One day the club announced there would be no more Spin on Tuesdays.. “Why?” I asked. “We don’t have an instructor,” was the reason given. “What does it take to be a spin instructor?” I asked. “You have to be certified,” the manager said. I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened next. I drove to Kalamazoo, Michigan. I took a class from Mad Dogg. Yup…I became a certified spin instructor (I still am!). It was more fun than I ever imagined exercising would be, and I wasn’t going to live life without it!
Time passed. COVID shut down my game. I didn’t go to the club anymore. I just walked. Oh yes, I do get my 10,000 steps in every day.
Recently I turned 80. I don’t feel 80. But something seemed to be missing. My body was hungry. 2023 rolled around. “Hmmm,” I thought. “I wonder if I could spin again.” A few friends recently had joined the YMCA in Michigan City. “Maybe I’ll give that a try,” I thought.
Shazam! My body felt as if it was back in gear! (Pun intended)
And so, it is…when I spin, my life is better. I feel better…accomplish more…easier. New ideas come. Life flows.
I know not everyone thinks spinning is fun…still we each have SOMETHING that makes our engine run…makes our life sing…gives us what we need to find the fun and positive energy in life.
What is it for you? Find it… DO IT! …your way!
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein