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Here’s a snapshot moment of how Heather’s Gym is a true workout for your heart, in every way. When our hearts are open, strong women’s solidarity can be created! Today I took Kristen’s Circuit Training class. There was a pregnant woman in the class who I didn’t know but I applauded her tenacity, to still be working out hard that far into her pregnancy. She appreciated my affirmation and added she was having twins! To which I responded. “Oh wow! I’m a mother of twins.” Then three more women in the class said, “me too!” I said, that’s probably why we’re all here, mothers of multiples have a lot of grit. One of the mothers of twins, Kathy, became my partner and we shared stories of mothering twins while dashing between stations. After the class, I scooted into the bathroom to transform myself into a Presbyterian pastor. I came out and a few women said “how did you do that?! You look great!” I said “how else am I going to get my workout in? But, wait, it gets better when I put my jewelry on; Kristen saw my jewelry she knew immediately that it was “noonday” because she supports it too. This gave us a platform to share that noonday is jewelry made by women who have been rescued from sex trafficking, prostitution and abject poverty but now they are economically empowered for a future with hope. That’s one class at Heather’s gym—women not being competitive or caddy but being compassionate and supportive of the myriad roles we dash between like stations in circuit training: mothers, daughters, wives, friends, professionals, athletes, activists, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, artists... The instructors at Heather’s Gym encourage women to be their best selves and share the love so ALL women may know greater freedom and fortune.
I used to be addicted to running until I needed a hip replacement and exercise replacement. I must admit I LOVE the endorphin high that comes from a hard cardio workout. This is why I’m drawn to Tabata and cycle. That mellow, anti-depressive feeling after a big sweat and elevated heart rate can’t be beat. However, as I age, I’m aware of how critical it is to cross train. In addition to my regimen at Heather’s Gym, I also do elliptical and have a trainer twice a week for weight lifting.
My work out a nonnegotiable priority. I sign up for training and classes so that I am accountable to myself. In midlife, I have learned that exercise is not a luxury. It is a necessity for bone density, flexibility, balance, strength, stress release, joy, mental acuity and the energy to be a care-giver to the people I love and civically engaged with the issues I am passionate about. Finally, I believe in the concept of Sabbath, taking time to rest to restore ourselves in body and soul. I think it’s important to have a day or two to take a breather, just walk the dog on a beautiful day for your exercise or take a hot bath and a nap or sit by a crackling fire with a good friend and a bottle of wine!
I have some real tight spots that would benefit from more yoga and a regular massage. I need to stop procrastinating seeing various doctors and stay on top of my health, so it doesn’t get on top of me.
An “attitude of gratitude” is the secret of contentment and joy! I am a news junkie. I listen to the NYT Daily podcast and NPR every day and that’s just my base line. There is clearly a lot of distressing news these days! It could easily make one cynical and depressed. I think it is crucially important to be informed. However, if we are going to have our consciousness raised we had better find a way to channel our concerns (even moral outrage) into constructive actions and creative problem solving, or find those people doing it and support them. When we do this, we feel gratitude for our agency in the world and our ability to make the world a better and brighter place. Two other things I do to foster gratitude: I try and help people in real need and as a result I realize my privilege and blessings that I might be tempted to take for granted. And finally, I try and focus on what I have, not on what I’ve lost. It is literally a spiritual discipline of mine to give thanks to God every day for the gift of LIFE, with all its beauty and brokenness, wonder and woes, mystery and messiness. Just to breath is a blessing! A 12th c. mystic said, “If we only have one prayer to pray, thank you is enough!”