Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Well, itís a new year. And as weíre all taking stock of our goals, and what we need to do to get there, Iím looking at making a few changes, especially in my exercise routine.

Donít get me wrong. Iím not giving up the daily hikes and walks with good old Magnolia Louise, whoís always ready to put on her leash. The sessions with the trainer arenít going anywhere either, nor is the other trip or two to the gym for weights.

But, Iíve always wanted to do tai chi. It seems sustainable, and wonderful for balance, strength, toning, meditation Ė in short, all the things Iím trying to develop. But for some reason, classes are hard to find in this area, and not available at my gym.

Months ago I bought some DVDs, but I couldnít figure out how to work the DVD player. NOT a techno-person, which is a little hard to manage in this world of digital cameras and i-Pods. But my friend Joyce, who listened to me whine about this, piped up and said ĎI know how to work my DVD player, I have the room, and I need to do something like this for my arthritis.í

VOILA! A fellow bumbler! So what if she has a teenage girl in the house Ė one whoís at the eye-rolling Ďoh mom!!!!í stage! Joyce and I have made a date for this Friday night at her house for the first of what we hope will become weekly sessions of friendship and tai chi. Maybe weíll even go out for coffee afterwards!

Iím so excited, not only because of the tai chi adventure, but also because another one of my major goals for 2006 is to connect with friends. Between the Alzheimerís mom and work, itís been very hard to sustain those life-affirming, supportive relationships that make life worth living. Joyce and I have been friends since high school, and our paths have taken us through some hard times, often separately. Itíll be fun.

Donít get me wrong, Iím a little nervous about this. Tai chi requires balance, and I canít even stand on one foot or walk straight some days. But, with a little help from a friend, I know Iíll make it. Will you?

10 thoughts on “The power of friendship

  1. Deirdre says:

    Be careful that you keep your knees over your toes. I twisted my knee doing Tai Chi thirty years ago, and it has never been the same. I would love to add a yoga class to my routine. Just to shake things up a bit.

  2. stretchy says:

    Thanks for bringing up Tai Chi. I believe consuming holiday foods goes hand in hand with feeling too sluggish to work out to the fullest… some kind of food “high” or imbalance!
    My friends were all complaining about this the other night: Even if you have gained only a pound or two, you “feel” a lot heavier, as if you have gained ten or fifteen pounds!, Feeling like that can lead to giving up, walking hunched over, and eventually gaining more weight (what a twisted psychological life we lead!)

    For me ..nothing tastes as good as thin feels when I am working out regularly… That phrase has real meaning when I feel lean and fit and people are complimenting…
    But when I get in “the” slump, I just reach for the cookie, skip the workout, live the life o’ slug, thinking “why bother?”

    My Tai Chi was the first casualty in my fitness schedule, and I do miss it. Tai Chi was a positive for my posture, my spirit, and my energy level, and I used “Holiday Fun” as an excuse to give it up.
    getting back on track is taking time, and Tai Chi is a great way to reawaken.

  3. h says:

    I love the idea of combining exercise with socializing. It can be hard to find time for either sometimes, so multitasking makes the exercise more likely to happen, and fun!

    You inspired me to ask a friend of mine if I could take her dog for a run this weekend, then take a quick shower at her place and have lunch afterwards. She’s always saying that she can never tire her dog out enough just by taking her for walks. Next step, getting my friend to run too. ūüôā

  4. librarianontheloose says:

    I am starting an 8 week tai chi class on Saturday. Keep us posted how it works out for you!

  5. mary jean says:

    This is so timely for me, Jane! I went snowshoeing for the first time last weekend and it was a total blast, not to mention one of the most challenging workouts I’ve had in a while. Then, much to my suprise, a friend called and asked if I wanted to snowshoe with her. We had a grand time tromping through the snow and have set up another date next week. I am totally pumped about getting some fun and excitement back into my workout routine and enhancing my social life.

  6. Laura says:

    I used to do yoga years ago when I was thin and in my 20’s. I would love to do it again, though I am twice the body size and have stiff joints on my right size (which is why I would like to do it again – and for stress). I keep putting it off because I feel terribly embarressed. Maybe this year I’ll not care so much about what others think and do it….

    Laura

  7. Hey Jude says:

    One of my goals for 2006 is to take a new exercise class. I am a regular Mon-Fri morning exerciser at the gym, but I want to branch out to Pilaga or something. I am just a wee bit nervous about it though, as I have never felt co-ordinated enough to take the classes offered with my gym membership.

    My strategy is to show up at the gym next Monday at 6:00 when it is offered and just observe from the safety of an exercise bike or the treadmill. Then I can decide if it is something I can handle.

    I guess if you can try Tai Chi, I can try Pilaga. Go for it!

  8. Theresa says:

    If you’re looking for a tai chi class, Shirley Swaney teaches a great one at the Holland Area Arts Council.

    I took it and really enjoyed it!

  9. Xena says:

    Woohoo Jane! I *loved* tai chi when I took it two falls (autumns, not tumbles) ago. It made me feel so graceful and centered, even though I know I wasn’t doing it “right” all the time. Not only is it terrific exercise (hard to believe if you’ve only watched someone else doing it), but it can be an amazing moving meditation. Enjoy, and who cares how you look doing it? Just do it, as they say.

  10. Blader says:

    After my father died 12 years ago, my mother took up Tai Chi. She found that the religious/spiritual aspect (and fundraising for a temple) started to take center stage, so she and a bunch of others broke away to form a social/exercise group. They’ve been meeting for 11 years, every Friday evening, to do Tai Chi in my mother’s basement. A close and fun group of friends and exercise as well!

    Hope this is the beginning of something as wonderful for you, Jane.

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