When my first child was two years old, I enrolled in a yoga class at the local church. They had continuing education classes and that seemed like a good idea for a stressed-out mother of a two-year-old. And I loved it. It gave me stress relief and I soon found out it also enhanced my strength. I had never been an athlete, but I soon learned how much better I felt when I exercised.
I continued on with yoga classes at the YWCA and YMCA and soon was asked to lead the class. By now I had two children and it brought in a little money and gave me some adult time. Back years ago, it wasn’t necessary to be certified to teach a class and I was just parroting what I’d been taught. But my classmates and I got a good workout. I read books and tried to bring something new to the class now and then.
By the time I had two children, I was certified to teach swimming. I taught swimming at the local YMCA, city pool, and home pools all over town. Soon I was also teaching the water aerobics class too. But sometimes I still taught yoga and substituted for other assorted classes at the YMCA.
The workout made me feel good and helped stave off weight gain.
Then I went back to school and into an office full time to help with family expenses. I sat at a desk daily and sometimes ran to the Y at noon or after work to work out. It made me feel good even though I was a busy working mother. But I still sat for at least eight hours a day and it took its toll on my body.
By the time I was fifty, my spine had a degenerative back disease (arthritis) and the joints in my spine were disintegrating. Now retired I have had three back surgeries. Somedays I walk better than others. But I am still walking my dog, doing water aerobics at the Y, and practicing yoga on Saturday mornings. I’ve come full circle. And the teacher, in my Saturday morning online yoga class, is my daughter. The same two-year-old who sent me to yoga in the first place. But she’s spent years getting certified and teaches in many different places on the campus where she works, churches, and yoga studios. It is a great stress relief for her and her students after a long week at work.
I am a great believer in the fact that exercise is the best medicine. Without my exercise I might not be walking at all. Somedays, my legs don’t want to do what I ask of them due to nerve damage, but they are still under me and moving me forward.
Exercise is the best medicine. Get out there and move when you’re not reading. Your body as well as your mind needs it.
What are you exercising/reading/writing this week?