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About three months ago my daughter quit smoking and started running. I know it was difficult for her, but she wanted to improve her health, as well as save money. So with the help of a nifty app on her iPhone that kept running totals of how long she had gone without smoking and how much money she was saving, she just did it. And she ran her first 5K race on Thanksgiving morning as we took part in the Race Against Hunger. She also started going to the gym to work out.

One of the perks of her gym membership is being able to take a guest each visit. I am blessedly healthy, but carrying a few pounds too many and definitely lacking in upper body strength. (And let’s face it, I would much rather drink tea, eat ice cream, and read a book than exercise.) So I decided to take advantage of her membership, and start going to the gym with Georgia.

We went on New Year’s Eve, and I walked on the treadmill for a mile or so. No point in overdoing things, right? Then I snuggled down with my book and tea while she finished her routine. We went back today, and she introduced me to the modern torture device known as The Elliptical Machine. Yikes! By the skin of my teeth I managed 3.5 minutes before nearly falling off in pain! I am amazed at how fast it made the top of my thighs ache! I returned to the relative comfort of the treadmill, and then followed her challenge to try the circuit machines.

In case you don’t know (I didn’t), the whole idea of doing the circuit is that one machine works your upper body, the next your lower body, the next your upper body, and so on…and you alternate arms/legs/back/chest in 45 second intervals, with 15 seconds in between to “rest/change machines”. This was laughable, because in that 15 second “rest” period you are expected to go to the next machine, set it to whatever resistance level you are using, and get ready for the next 45 seconds of exercise. Does anyone see a rest period in there anywhere? I certainly didn’t!

For optimum results you are encouraged to complete the circuit twice (which should take 29 minutes). At the end of the first circuit I was ready to quit. Georgia had other ideas, however, and assured me I could do it again. And the crazy thing was, I could, and I did! I think she was proud of her mom…and I was proud of me, too. Of course, I’m feeling a bit achy and creaky tonight, and will probably feel more sore tomorrow, but it is okay. I’m not setting any firm goals yet, but I do look forward to making progress, shedding a few (like maybe 20 or so) pounds, and firming up a lot of jiggling body parts.

By the time I am ready to sign up for MediCare next fall, I hope to be a healthier woman. So it begins.

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