facing facts


I joined the Wellness Center at the nearby hospital campus a couple weeks ago. What an eye-opener! The facility is first class, two pools, exercise classes every hour, state-of-the-art exercise machines that circle the basketball court, and personal trainers, too. But the beautiful facility was not the eye-opener I’m referring to; the eye-opener was my personal fitness assessment. Thank God the personal trainer doing the assessment was my age –  we bonded over my crappy BMI and we laughed when I couldn’t get my butt up and onto the seat of the bicycle.

The news was so bad I had no choice but to return the next day. Face facts. I managed to clock 90 minutes with an assortment of machines and the walking track.

(Don’t start with 90 minutes, learn from my mistakes. You’re welcome.)

I ended up in the pools; first the warm water/arthritis pool where I lazily walked the perimeter. Next I tested the lap pool; floated on my back for one length and flipped over to dog paddle back. I crawled across the floor to the hot tub, feeling like I was auditioning for Goldilocks and the Three Bears, only, I was trying to find the “perfect fit” in a swimming pool instead of chairs and beds.

I rolled my tired self into the bubbles and wondered where I’d find the energy to crawl toward the showers and the steam room and the sauna.

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That was my first visit. I survived and I even returned because I was facing facts. I ache, I’m tired, and I eat and I sit too much.

I made a major move last year, across half this country, to return to the town of my roots and live near my kids and my grandkids. I made a very big decision a decision that brought me to my knees, emotionally, I went through a tough patch so I could enjoy my family while I still had quality of life.

It’s time to get my quality of life out of the wastebasket!

The timing was right (of course!) and I got that message when I visited my neighbor in the hospital yesterday. I walked the corridor, and naturally looked into each room I passed. The paradox of hospital/illness and wellness center/fitness came together and underlined the wisdom in taking better care of myself. When was the last time you saw a stranger aging in a hospital bed?

I was happy to see my neighbor doing well. She will be home soon. I definitely got the message. I needed the fitness assessment, the pool crawl, the walking track, and the realization of walking the hospital corridor and the visit with my neighbor to accept it. Everywhere I turned I could see . . . it’s about time.