Sunday, October 30, 2011

They Know Who I Am

I'm liking my new fitness center very much. The schedule works well for me, it's close by, and as I've mentioned before, the facilities are great.

As part of the orientation for new members, I was given a thirty minute personal training session last week. My trainer was a trim, athletic, youthful thing. At first glance, I wrote her off as someone who would be bored silly by working with someone as out of shape as me.

So, I was wrong. Yet again. What a surprise, hm?

Turns out that since this club is focused on members aged forty five and older, she has worked extensively with people that have much more difficulties than I. As a leader of an exercise group for people who deal with Parkinson's disease, her experience was evident in her patience and confidence as we worked the circuit of machines in the exercise room. What a relief to meet someone who understands the challenges that exercise intolerance brings.

She created a folder for me which detailed our plan and documented the adjustments that I should be making on each machine to ensure that I am in the correct posture while exercising.


And now that I've been going for a few weeks, several people have approached me and introduced themselves. The staff at the front desk know me by name. My aqua arthritis class teacher invited me to join the other members of the class to join them on a lunch outing.

WAY cool.

One of our class members brings her guide dog along, and she usually sits patiently by the side of the pool during class and watches her owner. (Although this is not a photo of her, but yikes. This puppy is a carbon copy. Awww. Picture of this guide dog named Hesper found here.)

This doggie has taken an interest in me, specifically my head. Yes, my head. She ambles over to me when we are doing exercises which require us to grasp the side of the pool, and looks deeply into my eyes. She sniffs me. She paws at my shoulder. She has even given me a big slobbery kiss on the crown of my head a time or two. The first time this woogie and I met poolside, the class had to take a break as we all broke out into laughter. I love it! Wonder why she singled me out among the group and what she finds so interesting....maybe I should shampoo more often? Maybe I don't want to know. I'll just enjoy her attention.

I believe there's one slight downside to all of this camaraderie,  however......

They know who I am. They know how often I come (or DON'T come) to class. "What days are you coming next week, Julia?"

Um. You know, I'll have to see how things go...

"I usually come three days a week. It really helps MY arthritis if I'm here regularly."

Thanks. Good to know. Dang.

I thought I was too old for peer pressure.


Anita Rowe Stafford said...

Super! So glad you found a place like this.

annie said...

It's almost like the "cheers" bar...where everybody knows your name! It's nice to be part of a community where people acknowledge you and don't ignore you.

Animals have a superior sense of smell, so maybe this dog smells your own dogs' scents when he sniffs you?

Kelly said...

Bask in the glory of being singled out by a dog for affectionate attention. I've had the same experience recently with a therapy dog brought in to my mother's hospice room. Good dogs know who needs them in the room. I want to propose this: let's all pat ourselves on the back for any day we make it to the gym and not worry about the days we don't. Deal?

BD said...

I think it goes something like babies and dogs have a sense for really good people so yeah... but we knew that about you already :)

So happy you found a place, that sounds like a nice place. I'd like to find something like that around here.