Step aerobics and feeling my age

If you are over 60, you will understand this blog.  If you are under 50, wait a few years.  One day you will remember reading this and say, “Oh! Now I get it.”

Nobody likes to admit they are getting old.  But if you, like me, have spent 40+ years trying to eat healthy and being disciplined about exercise, you really don’t want to think that you are losing the battle.

Some things I have voluntarily given up.  I don’t jump when I exercise anymore.  I know too many people with joint injuries and tendon trouble.  If I am in an exercise class or if I am doing a video and the leader starts jumping – I modify.  It’s not that I can’t jump.  I just don’t think it’s smart to jump.

I have a wonderful step aerobics DVD.  It gets my heart rate up and gets all of my muscle groups moving.  DD and I did it together in the living room back when she was in college.  When we started, I didn’t have any trouble with any of the moves.

But a while ago, my Honorable Husband and I had a conflict.  I wanted to do the step DVD and he wanted to watch a movie.  I agreed to take my step to the office and play the DVD on the computer.  Problem solved.  Everyone was happy.

This was about the time that I was within sight of my 65th birthday.  One day doing the DVD, I missed the step and had to grab the book shelves to catch my balance.  I didn’t like that.  I was having trouble keeping up with the instructor.  My feet just couldn’t move fast enough anymore.  I really didn’t like that.

I thought about lowering the step…but that would be like admitting that I was getting old and could no longer do what I had been able to do.  I decided to work harder at step aerobics.  But I found myself becoming tentative.  I felt old.

So last week I was ready to exercise and I said to my Honorable Husband, “I need 45 uninterrupted minutes on either the TV or the computer.  Your choice, but once I start, you can’t bump me off.”  He said, “I’ll take the computer.”

That was fine.  I moved my step into the living room and started my workout.  The warm up went great.  As the intensity kicked up, I kept pace.  I wasn’t having any trouble with the workout.

What was going on, I asked myself as I went up and down the step.  The answer hit me.  The computer plays the DVD faster than the DVD player that is attached to the computer.  I wasn’t getting old…I had been pushing myself to a pace that the instructor never intended.

I felt empowered.  I threw myself into the workout.  I felt wonderful.  And strong. And young.

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