I taught aerobics for over 30 years. Even when I was young and really fit I always had a last minute feeling that I really didn’t want to do it. Leading others in a grueling workout was so strenuous! I did it many times a day, year after year. I was truly one of the fittest people in town. Although I enjoyed the feeling of being the envy of everyone else, I’ll have to admit something.
If I hadn’t been the teacher, I wouldn’t have done it at all! At the age of 35, after winning top honors in racquetball on a state, regional, and national level, I decided to retire. Why not? I had been dragging my bootie out of bed for years to teach classes and play sports that really required endurance.
I made up my mind that I would walk to work, ride my bike, ski, hike, and find other ways to stay in shape. I lived in Aspen. Of course there were other ways to stay as fit as I was. At least until a few years went by and I started to gain weight and lose my condition.
At the age of 40, I decided to make my debut back to teaching. I taught a bodyworks class with weights, a prime time abdominal class, and even did a step class or two. It was fun being back, and again, I found the top of my game again. That is, until I got burned out and my body didn’t like the hard pushing again. Again, I retired from teaching at the age of 45.
At that time I was fortunate to be able to retire from Management in the health club business altogether. No more folding towels, no more rush hour at the front desk, no more tourist season in Aspen. What a break.
I went on to spend time with my horses. I rode in the hills, exercised them, massaged them, and generally made my life at the barn what my life in the club had been. I wrote a program on Equine Massage, and taught thousands of people the ins and outs of proper sports taping, stretching, and exercise programs. I even wrote a book about it. This was a really wonderful time in my life. My horse was aging, and he was fit and properly cared for. His performance at the age of 20 was better than most horses half his age. Then came 2007 ... and the recession. Most people could hardly afford to own horses any more, let alone give me money to get them fit.
Now I’m 58. Selling a few books ... sitting at the computer writing about fitness, both human and equine. Doing a little massage. Doing a little fitness coaching ... lecturing ... walking on the treadmill, but not pushing hard as though I’m in front of a class. Even though I try, I know that I’m only there to motivate my lazy self, and that I’m not in front of others.
So, help me out here. It’s killing me. Is it time to go back to teaching? Is it actually time to create a class for people my age? If I were coaching me, I’d ask; “What is it going to take for you to become fit again?” or “What are you willing to do to get back in top shape?” Mmmm. This is that same Socratic HOUNDING that I use on my clients that are overweight.
The answer? I guess I’ll bring that to my next self-coaching session.
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