I've Been Thinking: Selecting a workout takes work

Columnist tries to find out a way to exercise their way

Most of us need more exercise. I don’t think many folks would disagree with that.

However, for a woman caring for little children and keeping house exercise isn’t usually a problem. After raising seven little sweetie-pies I can vouch for that. Once those little cherubs became teenagers, needing exercise wasn’t as important to me as getting rid of the stress involved in dealing with the monsters those little sweetie pies had become.

Although I have always been a penny-pincher, I willingly paid for yoga classes. Eventually, calmed and finally looking critically in the mirror, I realized unless I wanted to survive on salads and low-calorie everything else I needed more exercise.

Because I lived in Upper Michigan at that time, I couldn’t have gone to a gym unless I wanted drive 40 miles one way. Besides that, gyms cost money, and I wasn’t as desperate to lose weight as I had been to get rid of the stress caused by my teenagers when I paid for those yoga classes.

I rarely spend money on something I could get for free so I decided to try running. It didn't cost any money. At least that's what I thought until I discovered the incredible cost of the running shoes my feet told me I needed. Forget running. What about a sport? Tennis, basketball, golf? Not golf, it's definitely not physical enough, and besides that big bucks would be involved with golf course charges, the cost of clubs and maybe even a cart and caddie.

All through my school years I hated gym and any sport involved in it. Okay, no sports. What then? Dancing! I loved to dance and still do, so that’s what I did, and it hardly cost me anything. I did it in my basement with dancing exercise DVDs that I bought from thrift stores. It was fun, and as I became more physically fit, I decided to do more-- some arm pushups … floor exercises and walking – not running – in my five-year-old, still just fine gym shoes, on one of my three NordicTracks. Yes, I did say three NordicTracks.

At one time I actually owned three NordicTracks, thanks to my son, David, who grew up to be an almost professional garbage picker. He picked them; one at a time for me figuring my husband could take parts from each of them to make one that would be as good as new. That didn’t happen. Instead two went back to the curb on garbage day. The remaining one I walk on – just walk. It doesn’t perform any function, but the wooden slats you hook your feet into do move when you move your feet so I move my feet.

Have I become more physically fit? Yes, but better yet thanks to my DVDs, I can do the latest line dances, the samba, and even – don’t tell anyone – an aerobic striptease.  And now, as a grandma, I’ve even learned to hip hop. Am I ready to get out of the basement and showoff my new moves? You bet I am, except for the strip dances of course.

Carol Kloskowski is a resident of Elburn. Feedback on this column can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com.