Yes, I did, I joined a gym. Here's a list of my symptoms:
Difficulty getting up and down, out of office chair.
First few steps out of bed in the morning slow, my whole body stiff.
Hip pain. Tailbone pain. Shoulder pain. Everything sore.
These are not my post-gym symptoms! Feeling like this every day is what inspired me to get moving, because resting is simply not alleviating the atrophy.
Friend Liz invited me to check out her gym, Planet Fitness. Lo, I love it! The premise of this gym is just that you need to get your butt in there, and moving it around for awhile. And that is about it. The walls read "No criticism" and "No judgment." There are no skimpy gym clothes allowed, and if you do something lunky like drop your weights or grunt or scream, a "Lunk alarm" goes off: an actual siren that indicates someone got a little too Arnold Schwarzeneggery.
I start out at TrueStretch "machine." There's a chart like this on the wall, but I just crawl around in there and make things up—and no one can judge me for it, because the wall says so.
I would love to have one of these at home, but they cost $2400.00. Maybe I'll just show this picture to my Clint and ask him to make one. That man can make anything, I am not kidding.
From there, I do about 40 minutes of gym stuff. I haven't been going long enough to fall into a routine yet. Sometimes I do the 30-minute weight circuit, and I've done bikes and treadmills with Liz when she's there too. Tonight I treated myself to the hydromassage bed after my workout, that was nice.
There are hurdles. Mental hurdles—aren't most hurdles mental hurdles? It is about as far away as you can get from my house and still be in these "twin cities." I'm anticipating my future whining, and preparing my own arguments against myself.
Future Whine: Wah. 20-25 minutes, there, 20-25 minutes home...
Argument to self: If I lived in Chicago it would take me 20 minutes to get to my car on most days. 20 minutes is nothing!
Future Whine: I won't get home until 6:30 or so on the days I work out.
Argument to self: Girl, you don't do anything between 4:30 and 6:00 besides poke your head in the refrigerator anyway.
Future Whine: I don't wanna.
Argument to self: Think about your parents! Clint and I have parents in wheelchairs now, and watching them become increasingly weaker and unable to stand has made me hyper-aware of how much we need to have muscle wrapped around our bones. Bones just cannot stand up by themselves!
In addition, his mother endured a complicated neck surgery, and I was in the room afterward when the Doctor asked her "why didn't you take care of this 15 years ago?" God, we all do that, don't we: Put off going to the doctor, live with the pain, have good days and bad, take a few Advil. The doctor's question to her really resonated with me: We need to take care of ourselves. Now.
I guess I'll get about doing just that. And 20-25 minutes each way isn't bad, and if I need more hours in a day I'll just get up earlier, and I don't care if I don't wanna, I'm gonna.
(I'm pleased to report that the folks are getting stronger with exercise and therapy also. Apparently the stuff—exercise—really works.)