On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘Gym’

Plans vs Resolutions | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 7, 2022:

On New Year’s Eve, David asked me the big question of the day: Have you made any resolutions this year? I was already prepared with my answer based on a memory that had popped up on Facebook earlier that day.

“No,” I said, quoting the 2013 version of myself, “I think I’ll make plans instead of resolutions. Less pressure!”

As the day went on, I thought about some specific plans for 2022. First on my list is the same on the lists of many others this time of year – I plan to go to the gym on a more regular basis. I will be starting with a large advantage over most of those others, though, because I’ve only been a couch potato for less than a month as opposed to years or forever. Still, I became aware last week of what a difference a few weeks can make in the area of fitness.

David and I joined Anytime Fitness in February of 2020. Since then we have worked out four to five days a week with very few breaks. We have both seen significant changes in our weight and shape, and more importantly, we both felt better. Then in December, he began suffering from sciatic pain, and although he was going to physical therapy, he didn’t feel up to a more serious gym workout. And when he didn’t go, of course, I didn’t go either.


Smoothies and leftovers | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 25, 2020:

low-carb-dietSeveral months ago, diets became a popular topic of conversation at our weekly Home Group Bible Study. It’s not surprising since food is the second most important reason for getting together next to the actual study part. Well, maybe the third since we do enjoy each other’s company a lot. Anyway, it seems that, during the lock down, many of us shared a common experience – we ate too much. David and I attacked our few extra pounds by returning to the gym as soon as it re-opened, but going on a diet seemed to be the remedy of choice.

I sometimes got lost in the discussions of the finer points of the various weight control smoothieprograms, but they all sounded like some version of an Atkins/Keto/low carb regimen. One thing they all seemed to have in common, though, was smoothies. When I thought of smoothies, I pictured concoctions invented by body builders consisting of various powders and additives, some of which have been banned by professional sports associations. But David heard fruit and easy weight loss, and he was interested.

“Maybe we should try smoothies,” he said one morning while I was fixing breakfast – if getting out bowls of cereal and fruit can be considered fixing. (more…)

In this Together – or Not | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 11, 2020:

we're in this togetherDuring this time of pandemic, social distancing and isolation, the slogan “We’re in this together” has become popular on the news and social media. Many YouTube personalities use it as a tag line to end their videos. However, after seeing people in action, I wonder if we really understand what being in something together really means.

One example of why I wonder happened recently at the gym where David and I work out wipe down equipmentregularly. Before you begin to compose your critique of our workout habits, let me say that the Anytime Fitness in Emory is probably safer than my home. The 6,000 square foot facility allows plenty of space for the machines to be placed at an acceptable social distance from each other. Containers of disinfecting wipes and spray bottles of disinfectant are placed throughout the gym, and clients are required to wipe down machines before and after each use. In addition, the manager Kim is constantly vacuuming and wiping down anything that doesn’t move – so don’t rest too long between sets. And finally, at the time David and I work out, there are usually between two and six other patrons there.

Pig lifting weightsAmong those patrons are two men who work out together, alternately pumping iron and encouraging and spotting for each other. They use the free weights while I stick with the machines on the other end of the building, but I sometimes face in their direction, and watching them takes my mind off my own pain. On the day of my example, they were pressing dumbbells of a size I wouldn’t be able to lift with both hands. Man #1 lay down on the bench and begin to work while man #2 stood at the head of the bench. The headphones of #1 slipped into an uncomfortable position and #2 stepped up and repositioned them without disrupting the flow of the repetitions. As #1 reached the limit of his strength, his arm muscles began to quiver a bit and his speed slowed as he struggled. On the last repetition, he stopped halfway, unable to complete the lift. But #2 stepped up and placed the tips of his index fingers under #1’s elbows and applied just enough pressure to get #1 past the hard spot and allow him to finish.

I smiled as I watched this example of working together, and I looked forward to seeing the interaction when #2 took the bench. Let’s just say I was underwhelmed. As soon as #1 stood up, he grabbed his cell phone and stared at the little screen the entire time #2 went through his presses. In it together? Maybe not.

Another example is further away geographically but closer emotionally. My son and his quarantinefamily live in Granbury – a five hour round trip – so we don’t see them very often, especially since COVID. But Christian and I text regularly, and we recently had a conversation about people we know who have been infected. He told about a couple who invited them to dinner and then tested positive the next day. Thankfully, he had declined the invitation. The heartbreaking part about the situation is that the couple had recently returned from a trip to Mexico and had opted not to quarantine for the suggested fourteen-day period.

Another popular subject on social media, the afternoon talk shows, and the evening news is “my rights.” Some people seem to think that the Constitution grants them the right to do whatever they want to do. But as my brother used to say, my right to swing my arm stops at the end of the other person’s nose. And being in this together may require you to give up some of the things you want to do for the good of someone else.



Kitty’s Story

Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Mom’s Long Goodbye

A Long and Winding Road

Answering the Call | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 2, 2020:

curbside pickup signLast week I wrote about the fact that normal life is beginning to call to all of us because social people cannot stay in isolation long. The call to community is too strong. One of my calls was the fact that I needed a loaf of bread – not a long list of items that would meet the minimum requirement for a curbside pickup order, but just a single loaf of bread. I got my bread, but not by actually entering a store for the first time since March 13. After checking my list, I realized a Walmart run was overdue, I placed an order for bread and 25 other items, and we drove to Mineola. While I waited for the order to be brought to the car, David braved the elements and went inside in search of a particular car care item I hadn’t been able to find online. He returned with a smile of success and a request for hand sanitizer, just in case.

I also mentioned in my previous column that vanity might call some people to the gym, Gym wipesthe hair salon, or the shopping mall. Although my weight has fluctuated a bit in the last couple of months, I’ve pretty much maintained my pre-isolation size, and David has actually lost weight, so the mall hasn’t tempted us. And since I’ve cut his hair for years and mine for several months, we’ve avoided the salon with no problems. However, the gym is another story. (more…)

Things I’ve Learned at the Gym | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on March 3, 2020:

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a column about mine and David’s intention to begin working out at a local gym in the hope of living what’s left of our golden years in better health. In keeping with my usual serious tone, I pursued the vital question of what to wear when I worked out. I received quite a bit of input from fitness fashionistas, but I ended up going with what I had, at least in the beginning.

HokasAfter a few weeks of faithful gym visits, along with David’s interest in the new running shoes of some friends, we went shoe shopping and rewarded ourselves with fancy new shoes that feel really good on our old feet. The next week we added new sweat pants, so now we’re somewhat color coordinated. My outfit of choice is gray shoes with salmon/pink highlights and white soles, gray pants with a white stripe, and a large pink T-shirt that hits me about mid-thigh. It’s not high fashion, but everything is comfortable – and the place we go isn’t the kind of place where people go to be seen, at least not at the time we go. I have, however, seen a few interesting people and learned some things about fitness enthusiasts. (more…)

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