Patty Unleashed: 8.31.16

My doctor told me to stop acting old. During my annual physical, as I went through a list of all the diseases I might have, her response was, “You’re 56. Stop acting old.” She was right. Over the past year, I’ve started acting old. But who can blame me? I had a bad case of shingles, unrelenting migraines, plus every disease I could imagine. And don’t get me started on the time I spent staring in the mirror, thinking: How did that hair on my chin grow so fast? or When will insurance pay for an eye-lift?

I guess I was acting old. My knees hurt from too many years in high heels. My lower back hurt from too many years sitting at a desk. I gained weight, well, from too many years eating more than I should. I stopped exercising because I hate to sweat. But when my doctor called me out on the old mindset, it struck me that I needed to do something about it. In part, because some of me thinks I still got it going on … you know, that if I’m dressed just right and have a touch of makeup, I could still turn a head or two (perhaps an elderly head, but nonetheless a head). So, I am now on a mission to stop acting old.

I spent many years in the marketing industry, and I know a good pitch when I see it. So when I saw a brochure that said, ‘Feel Like You’re 29 Again,’ well, I knew this might be a good place to start. The brochure was for Exercise Wise, a studio that specializes in Gyrotonics and yoga. Twenty-nine was a pretty good year for me, so I set up an appointment to meet with Heidi Johnson to start my age reversal.

Gyrotonics is an exercise method that incorporates circular motions that move your joints through their entire range of motion. The result should be improved joint health, muscle strength and flexibility. And since ‘creaky’ is a word I often use to describe myself, this seemed like a perfect match.

The Gyrotonics tower is bizarre looking. It has pulleys, weights, handles and straps, and I’m pretty sure if you used it without any knowledge, you’d be in a heap of trouble. I was very glad Heidi was there to take me through a workout that focused on moving all parts of my body. I stretched, flexed and moved all over the place, but when it was over, I didn’t feel like I had worked out … until the next day. And then I realized my upper arms still did have muscles. Now, this is not a one-shot deal. You have to commit. So, I have been going for a few weeks, and I must say that even though I still stare at the Gyrotonics tower with trepidation, I am far less creaky and far more flexible than I was when I started. Am I 29 yet? No, but I’ve moved down to my 40s, and that’s not bad for a few weeks of work.

I’ll keep you posted on my quest to reverse the effects of aging—or maybe I will just adjust my attitude and be more like my mom. During the recent heat wave, newscasters kept telling people to check on their pets and the elderly. So, I called my 90-something mother to make sure she was OK in the heat. She responded, “I’m not elderly, call someone else.”

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