Gloria comes into the Studio three times a week for reformer classes and a private session. We love her contagious spirit and curiosity of movement (and breathing!). She always puts her best foot forward, and inspires us to find ways to challenge her in movement.
Though I grew up very active (farm girl) I was never involved in sports (farm girl) and as an adult always felt too busy to exercise (full time work, children, volunteer work). And then in the last decade, there were four seniors who required untold hours of support. All I wanted to do when I had a moment was sit on the couch and watch TV or read. In my early 40’s I joined a woman’s gym. Who was I kidding. I rarely got there and when I did I felt completely discouraged. My peers there were 20 somethings and I had no idea what to do. In my late 40s I took up Kung Fu. I loved the fierceness and the discipline and I learned a lot but it was too much too late and unsustainable. I tried hiring a personal trainer to come to my home and design a weight training program for me to do myself. You know how that went.
But in January 2017 I sent a letter to my family anticipating the year and in that moment I decided I needed to do something. Spending so much time with seniors struggling with Parkinsons, Alzheimers and bad falls made me think hard about what I was doing to prepare myself for the years ahead. And I wanted to be able to get off the floor fast enough to keep a lively granddaughter safe!
My husband discovered Art of Fitness three years earlier when he needed help to prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro. He loved it. But I don’t’ respond well to people telling me what to do. By the end of 2016 he had finally stopped telling me to try classes. I decided to interview them. If they were pushy, or intimidating … if I did not feel comfortable … I would move on. My first encounter went very well.
I attend two classes and a private session every week. I find it interesting, challenging, and surprising. I know a lot about a lot of things but I did not realize how important the brain is when exercising. I did not know that I carried as much tension in my body as I do. (PJ asked me to take my tongue out of the roof of my mouth in my first session with her. I had no idea.) I did not know it was possible to breathe into my back. I am still learning how to breathe while holding an ab curl.
I love that my only goal is going to class and improving. (Well privately I do hope that the saggy underarm skin improves but I don’t focus on that.) I love that I just need to get to class and that if I do I will get stronger, my balance will improve and I will learn how to do things I could not do a year ago. Somehow these very capable, congenial instructors know exactly how to push me just hard enough to keep me getting stronger AND more confident. I continue to be amused by what I am doing and how enthused I am about it. Amazing.