If you’d told me as a kid that I’d eventually like going to the gym, I would’ve thought you were crazy. My favorite summer pastime was to sit in the shade, reading Very Long Books. Sports seemed meant for other people. Gym class was something I stumbled through, quite literally. No surprise, then, that I grew up to be a poet who supports herself with a desk job in the sciences. Language! Data! Books! My life is a nerd paradise.
Except, I no longer have the metabolism of a teenager. And I really love (I’m talking a gushing, un-ironic passion for) pizza. And ice cream. Too much rich food without much physical activity left me feeling like my body wasn’t my friend anymore. I felt sluggish all the time. I wasn’t always sure I could count on my body to do the things I wanted to do. Better nutrition helped a lot, but giving up ice cream entirely… that was a step too far. If I wanted to indulge sometimes, I would have to become, lord help me, more physically active.
Gyms are so intimidating though! What is all that equipment even for?! Non-stop opportunities for injury, if you ask me. And most everyone in them looks like they’ve stepped out of a magazine. I wasn’t sure about group training, either. I mean, how many times in fifty minutes could I be a klutz in front of other people? (In my mind, it’s a lot.)
But lots of extra walking and biking weren’t cutting it. So I fired up Google and searched South City Gyms. Dragonfly stood out: women of all different shapes and sizes, working to their own level. The emphasis was on learning to be strong and healthy, not on getting skinny. I took a deep breath and went to class.
What a difference! The coaches keep me moving safely, and nobody makes fun of how red my face gets. Best of all, my body and I are friends again. Everything just works better—and not just the ability to take a flight of stairs without getting winded. My digestion improved. My sleep and mood, too. I feel at home in my own skin again, and that’s priceless. So is eating pizza.
These days Dragonfly is my early morning home. We’re all barely awake at 6am, but we’re committed, to our own health and to supporting each other. And I’m not the only nerd! Which is nice, but also unnecessary: our differences make us better. Whatever life throws at me, one of the other 6am-ers probably has some experience with it. We’re all working through something(s). Oh yeah, and we exercise together, too.
Now that my body is changing again—turns out, midlife is its own adventure—I’m not worried. My body is my friend, so we’re rolling with it. This involves ice cream (occasionally).
-Jen T., Dragonfly Member Since 2017