by cheri sabraw
Meet Mary. Age 85 (but she quickly lets me know she will be 86 in November).
Mary is one of a number of older women in our small gym, Snap Fitness, who push weights. Her kettle bell is on its way up above her head. Cheering her on are a cadre of workout compatriots most of whom are over 65 years old.
Their circuit, often lead by Richard, a high-school classmate of mine (though several years ahead of me) consists of climbing stairs, stretching all muscles, completing a weight-machine circuit, and executing planks, pull-ups, sit-ups, and other core strengthening exercises.
This they do every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning.
The gym is a small no-frills operation. What it lacks in extras, it makes up for in heart, a quality I attribute to Esther, the owner of this franchised location.
Mary, with her infectious smile and rock-solid will, is a person to remember each day.
And I do.
Every day that I walk into Snap Fitness, I also remember my mother, Joan.
Here Joan is when she was approaching 80. What many of you do not know is that Joan had no balance, damage from a brutal attack of meningitis at the age of 67. Left deaf and disabled, she continued on to “be the best she could be.”
How to improve a balance that would never come back? Why not take boxing? One prerequisite: her trainer had to be “cute.”
Note her biceps and arms. Her fat left leg from lymphedema, a result of radiation for cancer, never slowed her down. She became the gym rat we all used to tease.
Here she poses without the aid of her walker or cute trainer.
And so, you can see why I now find myself trying to emulate Joanie and Mary.