“When did you fall in love with Hip-Hop?” This question is interwoven throughout the film Brown Sugar. In a reflective state, I posed a slightly tweaked question to myself. “When did I fall in love with fitness?” I laugh thinking about the time as a fourth grader I woke up at 5:30 AM to go “running.” With my mother’s blessing, I set my alarm clock for while it was still dark, put on my best athletic gear (something hodgepodge likely from ShopKo or JC Penney), and set off on a vigorous morning run. In hindsight, this tremendous feat was nothing more than a warm-up. I ran my heart out a total distance of 0.8 miles. The length of our entire street up to my elementary school and back home. It was a high describing to classmates what I had accomplished while they were sleeping. I was forever hooked. This love of fitness came from watching my parents. Their love of exercise and healthy living shaped me.
Flashback to the early 90’s. Music like Whitney Houston, En Vogue, and Babyface laced the speakers of my mom’s Pontiac 6000. The music she loved in the car was also the soundtrack to her exercise routines. I can vividly recall enthusiastically studying her as she jumped on the basement trampoline to the Pointer Sisters Jump. Likewise, I remember the summer evenings she powered up our steep neighborhood sidewalk along with her Walkman and ankle weights for her one-hour walking session. She dabbled in all the great gadget of the era including a ThighMaster and assortment of fitness VHS’s. My dad’s love of fitness inspired me too. His career as a firefighter kept him focused on being in tip-top shape. I vividly remember the day he purchased a NordicTrack and the one when he purchased a new Schwinn bicycle. I could tell investing in his fitness made him feel proud.
Now fast forward to my adult life and fitness is everything. In our first home, my husband M.D. (a medical student at the time) and I worked out in our driveway. We lived for driveway workouts! We tackled sprints down and back, threw up our yellow medicine ball into the evening sky in between deep squats, and ran throughout our pothole lined neighborhood streets. These days we still make couples fitness a priority especially when traveling.
I feel accomplished being fit. Therefore, exercise remains an ever-present part of life. I do all the things my parents did…own equipment, cross-train, and walk it out. I now understand the sense of pride one has in owning fitness equipment. We have a Peloton bike, TRX Suspension Trainer, and Total Gym. I’ve been working to keep things fresh. Last week I tried my first MegaFormer class. Fitness is fun and it’s in my life forever. My children are now watching me! I wonder what their ode to fitness will be like in twenty years.