Tag Archives: exercise

Exercising the Right

I exit the house a little after noon, stepping into glorious fall sunshine. I pass a friend with her two littles, returning from the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center, our polling place. The older rides his glider bike expertly while the younger kicks his legs in the stroller. We exchange brief greetings and continue our separate ways.

Seeing neighbors out and about going to and from the polls is a part that I love about election day.

I follow a series of right and left turns, passing two little boys playing in their yard. They look at me quizzically. I smile and cross the street where a tree with burnt orange and brown leaves overhangs the sidewalk. I make a mental note to take a picture on the way back.

A final left leads me to the parking lot lined with polling signs. Turning into it, I follow the sidewalk to where the volunteers pass sample ballots and chat with their peers. A man steps forward to offer a guide while the others look at me and keep talking. It feels strange. I take the guide and continue walking.

Walking towards the polling place is a part that I dislike about election day.

As I approach the entrance an older man and his adult son exit. The older man’s foot steps halfway off of the sidewalk where it turns at an angle, and he falls to the ground. Immediately everyone stops what they are doing to offer assistance. The slow fall into the grass seemed more embarrassing than painful to him, though I am sure he will feel the bruising. He rises quickly on his own and refuses the offer of a call for help.

People coming together in spite of their differences to help another hurting human is a part that I like about election day.

Grateful to have pocketed my driver’s license before leaving the house, I state my name and address and show my photo when asked. Familiar faces, aged a little more since last year, check me in, hand over a ballot, and direct me to the voting tables.

Seeing the friendly faces of the poll workers each year is something that I like about election day.

How far we have come since the early days of voting in a booth with a curtain around it!

Marking the ballot is a part that is hard for me on election day.

It always reminds me that politics is messy. It is truly an exercise of discipline and will for me to mark the ballot and make movement from table to scanner, which I do. This year the lady monitoring it has stickers. Unlike last year, I am early enough to get one. We laugh about that while waiting for my ballot to scan. It has to be re-inserted.

Waiting for my vote to count is a part that is hard for me on election day. Laughing with the lady at the scanner makes it easier.

I turn to exit through large glass doors that look as if they should slide open. My mind thinks, This isn’t the grocery store! My body stops awkwardly and waits. I do not know how to work these doors, and unlike years past, there is no sign to tell me.

Awkwardly not knowing what to do in any situation is something that is hard for me always! Election day just intensifies the shame.

I figure out which door to push, aided by the kind lady holding stickers, and exit the side of the building. Exhaling, I realize I have been holding my breath. I take air deep into my lungs and begin the walk home.

That is when I realize that I am wearing a red shirt today and that red and blue are colors that hold meaning on election day. The odd looks and vibes I sensed while walking in begin to make sense. Why only one person offered me a sample ballot feels more clear. Usually I am peppered with pamphlets.

Alas, my choice of color today is not due to a political leaning or subconscious voting clue or statement. It is out of necessity that later this evening is a choir event where parent assistants are asked to wear SVCC colors of red, white, and black.

Making sense of something that feels off to me is something I like any time!

The walk back feels lighter, and I stop under the overhanging tree branches and look up to take a selfie documenting the moment. The effect is not quite what I had in mind, but, satisfied with my sticker and thankful for all of the ways I have exercised today, I return home.

Flourishing Fitness Routine

Eleven days into 2019, my word of the year finds me settling into a fitness routine. I hope the seeds I am planting this month help my body to flourish as the year progresses.

A key goal I have is to close my exercise ring before noon and to have made substantial progress on my move ring, also. Intentionally taking care of this early in the day keeps me from the friendly 9:30 pm reminder that there is still time to close my move ring with a brisk 45 minute walk.

By 9:30 pm, I want to be snuggled in bed, not shivering in the cold trying to close my final ring. By 8:30 I want to be reading to Mae without worrying about having to go out for another walk afterwards.

To take care of this, I hook the laptop up to the TV in the living room, push the dog bed aside, and do Refit video playlist workouts on YouTube. It has been working for me this week, which is why I have the courage to post about exercise today!

This is what I did this morning.

On Tuesday evenings I attend a live class led by Betsy Dean. It is such a kind space for my body, mind, and spirit. I love live workouts. They have been a part of my story since here.

In addition to the cardio fitness piece, I begin my days practicing Yoga with Adriene.

I find that yoga helps me connect with my body and breath and increase strength and flexibility. I fell off of my regular yoga routine sometime last summer and decided to use January to find a new one.

So there you have one way that my year is starting to flourish. I am taking it day by day, trying not to think too far ahead; holding loosely, yet with intention. It is work, much like cultivating the ground for a garden or laying the foundation for a building.

What about you, Dear Reader? How are you doing 11 days into the year? Did you choose a word or set a goal? I would love to see you in this space or over on the Facebook Page. Check in and say hi! I am grateful for your presence.

Working It Out

At 21 years old I had a seven-month-old girl. A friend invited me to a Jazzercise class held at a church in Pensacola, Florida. I went. It was fun.

That first class, my husband kept baby girl home.  I was excited to be able to exercise, and on the days when he couldn’t keep her, there was a nursery. It would be great to get out and get in shape!

Sure enough, the day came when Daddy had to work during Mommy’s Jazzercise class, so baby girl was loaded into the Fairmont and deposited in the nursery upon arrival at the church.

After filling out all of the official grown-up paperwork that came with being responsible for a tiny human, Mommy claimed her spot on the crowded floor, and began following the instructor’s warm-up routine.

Ahh…This is the life. I have an hour to exercise and not think about anything.

The tap on the shoulder came during song three. That’s the one where you are starting to get moving up the heart-rate curve. It seems that a certain baby girl needed her mommy, and no amount of consoling would work.

Grateful for the attentiveness of the child-care workers in seeking me out and not allowing my sweet baby to go into distress, I gathered my mat, collected my hand weights, and returned to the nursery.

Baby sniffles with red-rimmed eyes reached out and clung to me like a little lemur. Sniff, sniff, shudder. Sniff, sniff, shudder. I patted her back and bounced her up and down a bit, thanking the nursery staff profusely while collecting her belongings.

Little girl balanced on my hip, digging her eyes with lamb blankie, clutching my hair, lest I have the audacity to put her down again.

This motherhood adventure was going to be a little different than I expected. Make that a lot different.

Is there really a week until her wedding?

One week from today will be about getting nails and hair done and preparing for a ceremony and party. That clutching, red-rimmed eyed baby girl will be donning a dress and walking down an aisle to clutch on and cling to someone else. As it should be.

This morning, though, she will Jazzercise with me, completing yet another circle, as we continue the beginning of the endings, while working off a bit of that wine.