Jammin’ with the ladies

The gym was crowded when I walked in. I hate when it’s like that. I am one of the younger ones (I know, hard to believe!). Sometimes the ladies don’t move fast enough for me. You are on a piece of equipment for 30 seconds and then you move to the next. If you take too long, you won’t get your heart rate up.


The music was loud over the chattering and the feeling was upbeat. Some people were singing along adding to the noise. Picture this: several 70+ year-old women yelling, “Ride the pony.” It was a chorus!


When you go at the same time every day, you see the same people. There are cycles. Some people come for a time and then stop and you never know why. Traditionally every time I made a friend there, they left two months later. I was starting to get paranoid but now I have a friend for over a year. (She’s probably going to leave any minute now…)


Exercise is one of those things that some people do for socialization and some people do for…well….exercise. Many of the folks at my gym are there for the former. You can tell because their jaws flap way more than any other part of their body. Best jaws in town!


No judgment here. I don’t really care. Just keep moving and don’t get in my way.


Over the winter we lost a few of the older ones (really older) and I asked the manager about them. One, she was 91, had called in January to say she wasn’t ever coming back. When the manager asked why, she said, “It’s too freakin’ cold!” She won’t come back now in the summer either.


Once out of the routine makes it hard to get back into the groove. I know that to be true.


Another one moved to an assisted living place. Her kids took her car keys away and we all sighed in relief. We loved her but her driving was scary. When we knew she was coming we would park at the far corners of the lot. Most days we ran out of corners. Of course she drove an old Oldsmobile. She could barely see over the steering wheel. Yep, scary.


There is another one who takes the bus so there is some walking for her to do. During the winter, she only came when she got a ride because walking was so treacherous. (These ladies have hips that break.) She’s back regularly with her crazy stories again. She is an African-American from the south with the best drawl I’ve ever heard. That dialect ranks right next to the Geico gecko or any of the Australian or even the British actors. (They make anything sound better!)


I don’t go to the gym for socialization but I miss the chatter and calamities when I can’t make it.


25 thoughts on “Jammin’ with the ladies

  1. I think you probably add quite a bit to the gym, too, just by listening and being appreciative of some of these older ladies’ stories. I went to a meeting tonight and sat next to a 90 year old gentleman I’d not previously met. He talked my head off! LOL! I was totally trapped, and I think I had a silly grin on my face the entire time. I was so amused by what I could see what was happening. A much older man had someone new to talk to! I think you, being younger, provide a little encouragement just by being there and participating in something that they also enjoy.


    • I’m not sure I add much. It’s pre-coffee so I am as quiet as a mouse. I do know how much the older (older me) folks like to talk. They probably don’t have anyone to talk to and you are fresh meat! All the old stories can come out.


  2. I go with Bill in the late afternoon when there are few ladies to “jaw” with. I am therefore forced to exercise or embarrass him by becoming an immovable object. This is good. But I miss the jawing too.


  3. I was doing so well, got sick and never went back. You make me want to give it a go again 🙂 Thanks Kate! And you’re right – use it or lose it. Here’s what I noticed since I stopped working out regularly — lack of flexibility – bam! Pool opened and I can barely get under the deck to work on the pool equipment. Good reminder – thanks!!


    • I used to walk every morning at 6 a.m. I had bunion surgery and couldn’t walk for a couple months. Never did get back to the discipline. Now that I don’t work, I don’t have to do anything at 6 a.m. This works and gives me blog fodder.


        • Holy cow! My surgery wasn’t that bad. I woke up in rectal surgery under a local once. Couldn’t feel anything but started talking to the doctor. Last thing I remember is the doc saying, “Give her more juice.”


  4. Exercise, except for walking, is not for me. I belonged to one place, but never really saw any benefits from my time there.

    I remember those Nehru jackets. They were out of fashion within 3 weeks (I had two), Thanks for the musical memories, Kate. 😉


  5. You almost make me think that if I lived near you I would go to the gym with you just for the company (exercise my jaws). Almost. But honestly, I would probably never go near the place in any event.


  6. I love the interaction and socialization at water aerobics . . . 2 days a week. And quiet walks and bike rides the rest of the week.

    Sad that ladies who benefit from coming to the gym can’t make it due to weather, missing keys (or car), etc. I expect that more and more assisted living facilities will have fitness rooms and exercise classes because they do a body and mind good.


    • Overall the lady who went to assisted living is better off. She was living by herself and shouldn’t have been. I expect they have some sort of exercise for the residents. I do a half hour 4 to 5 times a week and that satisfies my needs. Some days I am alone or with only one other person at the gym and that suits me too.


  7. My 88 year old aunt always went to exercise class. This past winter her daughter took her car and keys away, but won’t take her to class. I’ve noticed a big deterioration in her memory…she always remembered everything…very sad.


  8. I’ve gone to gyms, but they were never friendly places. They were always noisy, so for me there was nothing to draw me to one. I prefer quiet and internal focus when I force myself to move. That being said, your gym sounds like a hoot with so many unique personalities. I might like it.


  9. I think it’s great you work out…it should be a law for everyone. And here’s a statistic you’ll find interesting…1 out of 20 people exercise. Can you imagine?
    Whether you go to work your jaws…loved that….or mid section, it’s great that you do. Sanity, along with a smoothie if there’s a health bar, is guaranteed. Like the gal doing yoga at the end. Made me get up and do an impromptu down dog 🙂


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