Thursday, February 27, 2020

Fitness Community

In January I chose community as my focus word  in 2020, and in a blog post I promised to share some of the communities that have enhanced the meaning, joy, and quality of my life. I’m not writing about them in any particular order but am presenting them as situations arise. Since the situation of my seventieth birthday arose recently, I’ve been reflecting on and giving thanks for my fitness community.

In 2008, after nearly forty years of working, I retired. Almost immediately, I developed a case of sciatica to accompany my already aching knees. At that point, I determined I hadn’t worked most of my adult life only to spend my “golden” years hobbling about and tossing and turning in my sleep to get comfortable. So I joined a gym and began a pilates class. Gradually, I began to notice an improvement in my fitness level and realized that certain body parts didn’t hurt as much as they used to. 

When a new fitness center opened closer to my house, I joined it. It is a beautiful facility with state of the art equipment and a wide variety of programs. I’ve attended barre and yoga classes there for several years. 

But it isn’t the facility or even the fact that I can now move in ways I wouldn’t have dreamed possible twelve years ago that keeps me regularly attending the classes. Rather, it is the supportive community of women and instructors that spur me to keep on keeping on. 

Yoga seems to be all the rage right now, but you'll be
hard pressed to find a yoga instructor more informed and
more fun than Kara. She keeps us laughing even while
we're attempting torturous moves like the one above.
(You can see for yourself how amazing she is at
Champagne and Yoga on Youtube.)

Carol is our barre class instructor, and her extensive ballet
background is evident. Don't be intimidated, though.
No one else in the class can get this low on the barre, but with
her encouragement and with persistence, many of us have
seen great improvement in our flexibility.

Getting started has never been particularly difficult for me. I’m great at starting things. What I’m not so great at is sticking with routines or habits that are challenging or not a lot of fun (such as diets). But I’ve found if I’m surrounded by a community of positive, like-minded people, I’m much more diligent about pursuing my goals.
That is what my current fitness community does for me. I look forward to visiting with these ladies several times a week as we moan, laugh, and make progress together toward living healthy, active lives. 

I'm not going to divulge any ages here, but Carol and Peggy
 offer proof that exercise keeps you fit and flexible.
My classmates and instructors inspire me and hold me accountable, but more than that they are good friends. And is there anything more beneficial to our health than having good friends? If you have trouble sticking to an exercise routine, I highly recommend finding or starting your own fitness community.   

We don't just exercise together, we socialize.
With the exception of one, I didn't know any of these women
before joining my current classes. Now we go to lunch
on a regular basis and enjoy getting to know more
about each other. Maybe their friendships
have been the greatest benefit I've gained from


  1. Yes, yes, yes!! Some of the dearest women in my life I met at the small fitness studio here in town. It's hard to believe I only met them five years ago, and now they are best friends and even co-workers because I got a part-time job working there as a fitness instructor. I love our studio because of the friendships that blossom there and the encouragement these women give to one another. I'm glad you've found that community as well.

    1. Thank you, Nicci. I know you've already discovered the health and fitness benefits of community, and it shows!

  2. Somehow I missed this post along the way. I do love my fitness community. After avoiding exercise all my life, I now have a personal trainer (who also has become a good friend) and I go to yoga. I really miss these outlets during this weird time of social distancing.


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