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Fitness and Humble Pie


It’s really hard to admit when you’re out of shape, isn’t it?

I admit it. I’m out of shape. I do a passable amount of cardio, elliptical and outdoor cycling.

But weight-training?

I’m so out of shape.

You know how it goes. Life is full of responsibility. And during certain stretches of time, some elbow their way to the front of the room and declare themselves more important than some of the things we’ve already proven to be good for us.

Weight-training is one of these things for me. I actually really enjoy doing it. Especially in a gym where other people are walking advertisements for its benefits. Who can deny that their visible results are motivating?

But somewhere during the past couple of years, this particular good-for-me-thing got elbowed out of the way. And once it was firmly out of sight, I told myself better not to invite it back. Takes too much time. Can’t possibly fit it in. You know.

The naysayer inside me finally made itself heard recently, and maybe the noise in my life had momentarily lowered to a volume I could actually hear.

So I joined a gym – L.A. Fitness – and signed up with a trainer. It sounds indulgent. It’s not that I don’t know what to do, but it’s a fact that I am not going to push myself as much as someone paid to do it will.

My first session was with Mike, a perfect example of what can be achieved if you actually use your gym membership instead of allotting your card to a back-up form of i.d. should you misplace your driver’s license.

I could tell you that I aced every set of thigh-burning, ab-torturing exercises he laid out for me on the first morning, but I would be lying.

A more fitting description of the experience would be humbling and eye-opening.

Maybe that’s the first mountain then, suffering through the humiliation of acknowledging my own lack of fitness by choking down a very large piece of humble pie. I lived to tell about it, and hopefully, it won’t be long before I leave that weakling in the rearview mirror behind.Health in your hands and legs.

I’ve had two more sessions since then, both challenging if not quite as alarming. I feel like I’m on the path to fitness again. And even if I have a long way to go, I’m moving forward, one rep at a time. I have to believe that’s a far better place to be than in neutral, telling myself I’m fine without it.

Do you have any fitness goals for yourself? Tell us about them. We’d love to hear.


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I love books! From my earliest memories, I loved being read to and then reading practically every book in my elementary school library. There’s something about taking a little trip into a wonderful story that is its own unique pleasure. Over the years, my favorite authors have provided me with glimpses into worlds I would never have known had I not picked up their books. From Beverley Cleary to Lavyrle Spencer to Jodi Piccoult to Anita Shreve and so many others, I am grateful they chose to become storytellers. A great story has the power to move, change and shape its readers. To me, that’s an honorable calling and a task I aspire to.