I am thrilled to be writing my first blog for Healthworks, and I want to begin by addressing the issue that always comes up when I find myself in a discussion about health and fitness: yes, I do love to exercise and …. no, I am not crazy for loving it.  I actually enjoy going to the gym.  But I always have, and here’s why.

It’s nearly impossible for me to set foot in a gym without thinking of my mom.  She always made working out look like a great time.  From the time I was a little girl, sitting on the living room floor with my blocks and puzzles, Mom would be jogging, jumping, and twisting in her leotard and headband.  I wanted to have a pair of gray KangaROO sneakers (with the little zippers on the sides!) and to do jumping jacks and leg kicks just like her.

 When I was a teenager, she took me to the YWCA where she taught aerobics, when it was called “aerobics,” and step class in a studio with carpeted floors and pastel walls.  She would bop around the room, yelling over the Pointer Sisters on her mixed tape, and I would try my best to keep up. From the very beginning, working out seemed like a kind of dance party or an excuse for friends to play great music, wear their hair in ponytails, and just boogie to forget about everything else for a little while.  Of course, there are days when I would rather sit on my couch than hike all the way to the gym, but most of the time I look forward to the gym because I know there will be a group of amazing women there with sneakers on and their hair in ponytails, ready to de-stress with fun moves and maybe a few pushups.

I know I’m lucky because working out has always been a good experience for me.  I thank my mom for that.  She made it fun.  And it makes me wonder, can you remember how much fun it was just to hop up and down as a kid?  Or dance with friends? Or just change out of “grown- up” clothes into comfy sneakers and sweats?  It feels great.

 – Sarah

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