Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FAMOUS (02/27/20)
TITLE: Still Sweatin’
By Bonnie Kronberger
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Okay, so I’m seventy-three and still struggling with the same dilemma. I’m recently widowed after years of caregiving and have little to be responsible for, except myself. But I’m faced with a big question—how to live life as healthy as possible? I suspect the good Lord can still use me, so I need to be in shape, ready to go where He leads.
I’ve tried most every type of exercise there is and really don’t like any of them. Going to a workout gym holds no appeal. I’ve invested in exercise equipment for the home but it just ends up being a dust collector and catch-all. What in the world will give me exercise success?
In hindsight, I realize I go back to the same program, when I really get serious about sustaining a workout plan. Back in the late 1980’s Richard Simmons jumped out of nowhere, in his little striped shorts and big frizzy hair, getting everyone dancing up a fitness storm. His video, entitled Sweatin’ to the Oldies had people of every size, moving to the beat. His exuberant personality, along with his having lost over 100 pounds gave hope to the obese. He was soon on all the talk shows, the new fitness guru encouraging the hopeful souls who were hopelessly out of shape. I saw him comfort many who were broken and tearful, overwhelmed by their body weight.
I started sweating to the oldies way back then. I enjoyed the old songs like “It’s My Party, I Can Cry if I Want To”, “Peggy Sue”, and believe it or not, “The Twist”. Of course, my zeal would fizzle and Richard Simmons would be put on the shelf for months or years. But he would turn up eventually, when despair over my physical abundance became a problem. There was something comforting about working out with this zany character, along with his ordinary workout partners who were in varying stages of fitness, young and old.
Richard Simmons has reappeared on my TV screen yet again. My old VHS video has been replaced by a brand new DVD. My new exercise resolution took into account my many failures, my ability to talk myself out of doing it, so I made a one month goal. First thing in the morning when I awaken, I thank the Lord for a new day and new morning mercies. I refuse to let myself consider skipping today’s workout. Still in my jammies,I slip on my shoes, turn on the TV, and begin. Since I’m in my seventies, I tend to work up a sweat and heavy breathing after “The Twist” and twenty minutes of exercise. But my goal is thirty minutes. So I take a break, do some scripture reading as my heart rate slows, then finish up the last two dances, ending with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.
So far, so good. I’ve completed a month and only missed one morning. I intended to catch up later but talked myself out of it. Old habits die hard, but new ones can be learned.
Honestly, the thirty minutes go by quickly. I know the dance steps well, since I’ve been doing them over thirty years. My mind can wander and think of pleasant things. I’m astonished to realize we’ve completed three songs as I wool gathered. Really! As I hear the final note to the final step, I breathe a prayer. “Thank you Lord for the perseverance to complete the exercises for another day. Thank you that Richard Simmons had a vision to encourage overweight, unfit people.”
I’m thrilled to have accomplished my goal. I intend to continue starting my day the same way—spending time in fellowship with Jesus, and Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard Simmons.
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