December 07, 2023

Senior News Line: Exercise at the rec center

The senior center commandeered a large space at the rec center to use in an experiment. Their goal: to determine if we actually meant what we said about not coming in for exercise classes in a cramped senior center space where we’re all breathing on one another.

Find more room, we’d said, room to spread out. Hence, the borrowed space at the rec center — which had to cancel the Tots and Mommy Workout Hour, something about a stay-at-home father objecting to the name of the class.

The rec center space was nicely decorated with blue painter’s tape X spots across the floor, 10 feet apart. Then before we started, we got a little talk.

“How many of you haven’t taken an exercise class in two years?” asked the too-young male exercise coach we’d never met before. Hands went up.

There was a knowing nod from the coach and the admonishment: “We’ll be taking this nice and easy. Do not push yourselves. If you need to stop and rest, then do that. Nobody will judge you.” He cast a fierce look around the room as he said that.

The routine the coach put us through was a perfect combination of nearly everything, starting with mild stretching, moving into a few minutes of yoga poses, some cha-cha steps, a few ballet moves, leg lifts, toe touches and more.

During our cool down — although we hadn’t actually worked up a sweat — the coach inquired: “How many want to do this again? Twice a week, same time.”

Hands went up, because, yes, we wanted more of this. We each took a handout at the door as we left, instructions for doing these exercises at home in case we didn’t like the rec center setup.

But I have a feeling we’re all going to show up next week. It’s the first bit of normal in two years.

Matilda Charles

© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.