Friday, March 4, 2011

Never Thought I Would Be Homeless

(This post is dedicated to Lucy Myrick Pence, the best Fitness Instructor known to man.)


If you are a Gym Rat like me, and it's your gym the bank reclaimed, you feel kind of homeless.  Not to be overly dramatic, but we were family. Strangers who became friends and cheered each other on through the daily grind...and supported each other through illnesses, operations, moving and other toughies life brings.  Plus we sang and laughed...a lot.

When I retired I started going to the gym because I finally had time.  And I like being active.  But, maybe even mostly, because I fit the profile for osteoporosis to a T.  Menopausal (what fun), light complexion, small frame, light eyes, too many Diet Cokes, don't like milk, and my mother has it. Mother, who has been extremely active all her life,  dark complected, large bones...not the profile at all.  Two years ago as she sat in her leather chair, she reached to get something off the floor, slid off the chair onto the rug and broke her hip.  That easy.  Changed her life in that moment.

At 90, surgery was hard, anethesia was a nightmare, rehab was even harder.  She had been diagnosed with osteoporosis 10 years ago and was on meds and, of course, calcium.  Didn't work, obviously.

I believe we must learn from the lessons around us so 5 years ago, I had my bone density checked, and yep,I was headed in the same direction as mother.  I took action.  Got on the meds, but since I was still working, I "couldn't" make time for exercise.  Hmmm.  I hated those meds.

Long story short:  Retired, went to gym religously.  Learned to Zumba dance, learned to Kickbox.  Sweated daily.  Knew it was good for my heart.  Hoped it would help the bones.

Last week's scan results came and I was scared to open them.  I had worked hard, and what if, just what if, it hadn't worked.  I confess I had thrown those meds out the window years ago.  "You are in the LOWEST RISK" category for bone loss, it said.  Me?  Better than average bones for my age!!!  Well what do you know.  Two years of weight bearing exercise worked....without Rx.  I'm a believer now for sure.

Girls, it matters a lot what you do in "middle age" (I know you hate that term).  So exercise.  Walk.  Do something weight bearing.  You will be so glad.

If we are lucky we'll all be "old ladies" one day...hopefully with strong bones.  And, as Mother always said, and now I say to her, "Stand up straight!"

(Thank you Lucy!  You're the best!)



  1. Go gym rats! Yes, ladies, it DOES matter what we do in middle age - DO being the key word - not wish, not taking pills, not complaining about what our bodies are not - getting off our bootays and DOing it! You rock, Sandra! I know you'll find a new 'gym home' or studio soon - because you're a lady who "does" and does not wait for it to fall in your lap. Brava!

  2. Thank you Valerie. You rock too. I haven't always walked this talk, but now it's definitely a do!

  3. I discovered the joys of the gym and jogging after I turned 40. At first I did it for the same reason as you...fear of osteoporosis, but then I fell in love with it. Working out is my drug! So sorry your gym has closed!
    Visiting from SITS.

  4. Stopping by from SITS. So important to take of ourselves. Great post and very encouraging for those just starting to take better care of their bodies.

  5. Good for you!!!

    I love Zumba too :-)

    These are some of the ways I try to stay in shape right now:

    Have a great weekend!

  6. hi sandra,
    *waving, ahhh i know how that "gym family" feels... i was going to zumba, (i LOVE LOVE LOVE zumba)3 times a week stood in the same place, had my zumba buddies, and then i started having some "driving issues and panicing" and i stopped going to the gym and to my zumba classes.. i miss those buddies, so i know how that feels... however, good news i joined another gym a little closer to home and i went to zumba today for the first time in months.. new people, new dances, new music, new teacher but i'm sure in a few months it will be just like the old crew... i'm hoping you find somewhere else to go.. congrats on your test! yup, hitting that middle age is noooo fun! but at least i hope to dance my way though it...
    ps just keep going through the days for the challenge, if you have any questions just drop me a line and i will be more then happy to help!

  7. Wow! Wish I could get into shape. I'm a new follower from Weekend Blog Hop. Please stop by and follow me back.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. Thanks for that information. I always thought that once you got to a certain age, it was kind of pointless to do anything. But now I know different! You've inspired me, thanks!

  9. Oh my! I fit the profile too... or I will when I become menopausal... which hopefully wont' happen for awhile! I'm not gym rat though... not time... no childcare, but thank you for the warning... definitely something to keep and eye on!

  10. Thanks everyone! I just love Zumba too. If you haven't tried, it's a whole lot of fun! And if you have a really good teacher, there isn't a dry thread left on you. That and a good shower---good for the body and soul.

  11. Hiya - you are a great writer!!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog :) See you soon

  12. I love Zumba, it is the only way I can enjoy exercise. Last year I found out that my cholesterol was high and decided I needed to change a few things. I haven't yet been tested for bone density, but I am sure it will be soon. I know that I am already vitamin D deficient. Great post!
    Joining you from SITS 31DBBB

  13. I'm not a gym rat, I'm a "water rat"! I've done from no exercise to 2-3 days a week at water aerobics. Love.IT. I know I look like Orca in a swim suit, but I dont care :) I've also dabbled a bit in Ypga, Pilates, and Kickboxing. I plan to try Zumba soon. Keep up the good work!

  14. Frantic, I so wish I had a water aerobics opportunity around here. I love the water but it's a hike up to the Y and it's expensive. Good for you though. It's fun I know.

  15. Inspiring!
    It is good to know there is a reason for all the exercising hours spent!
    Good result.

    We are planning to do the Pyramid race here in Cairns Australia later in the year.

    I found you on the blog hop and am following you. Please drop over to our site when you have a minute.

  16. I was told that getting ample amount of D3 is also helpful because D3 helps your body absorb the Calcium. Way to go though. I've been running for a few weeks now. It's my weight-bearing exercise of choice.

  17. Love your blog! Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog and introduce yourself. I think we are on the same wavelength here! I am now following you too.

    Take Good Care!
    Self Care Girl

  18. This is so encouraging. I love your blog.


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