One of my goals for the summer was to get into a regular exercise routine, to feel stronger and less stressed. Three days ago, after dropping my husband off at what he considers his "new job", I drove downtown to a new place called the bar method, which from the website seemed to be a ballet-style/stretching/flexibility, and core strength building combination workout. I had picked up a schedule of classes two weeks ago or more, but never seemed to be able to go when there was a Beginners' class. Arrived a few minutes early, was given forms to fill out and while I was explaining my current low-level of vertigo, the teacher came out, said she had the same thing and not to worry. There was some confusion, in that I'd been told you could try one class for free. The owner had to be called and after hearing my brief explanation of why I needed to see if I could handle this type of exercise, she waived the $27 per class fee.

Entered the room, which looked deceptively like a ballet studio, however about thirty women were already moving up and down to rather loud music, with the teacher wearing a headset mic, going around correcting or complimenting peoples' form. After five minutes, I knew this was not appropriate for someone with Meniere's disease, so I did my best and tried to keep my head upright. After 30 minutes, I felt so nauseous I silently left. Explained to young lady at desk, my apologies but it was triggering my vertigo and I needed to be able to drive. Felt like a loser.

Then I remembered YMCA, located three buildings away from Adult Day Care, so I drove over. Was given about ten pages to fill out, plus had to declare I was not a child molestor, would dress appropriately, would not use vulgar language, etc. Turns out my health insurance will pay for one month free, while they process other financial forms. Very efficient woman types in my info, takes my photo, and scans my health insurance card and drivers' license. I get a tiny plastic pass to add to my keys and she suggests I start right away, steering me to a smaller room filled with workout machines. I'm welcomed to a 12 week cardio and weight program, complete with trainer. I feel like I've gone to gym heaven. No music, clean wooden floors, and great, hulking state-of-the-art machines that I've instantly fallen in love with.

More paperwork, health-related questions, my exercise goals for the 12 weeks, and the last blank space being filled in by the interviewer was how I heard about the program. "Newspaper? A friend?" My answer was that I had gotten discouraged at the other place and drove over on a whim. She looked up and said, "I'm putting 'on her own' and you should be proud of that." I don't know about proud, but it put a positive spin on how I've been feeling about my life in general. I'm so excited and can go whenever and as much as I want. The trainer I had today really focused on my abilities and explained everything. I choose to go mid-day when there are fewer people, but already feel quite comfortable and encouraged by others, one of whom was a very fit looking woman, probably in her 80's.

The trainer laughed when I said I want to look like her. She introduced us and Nora said, "Just keep showing up, honey. You'll get there." Later, the trainer explained Nora just keeps doing the 12 weeks over and over. Since the program has only been in existence for five months, they let her, as inspiration to others. I was certainly inspired and this was much better than a DVD at home.

afterthought: This may seem more fitting as a daylog, but I preferred giving it a title that has more than one meaning, a nod to the kindness of a stranger who used a phrase which has heavy meaning as I struggle to make time for myself during a stage in Alzheimer's when my husband at home always needs to be near me. My husband, who is rapidly becoming so different than the man I married, through no fault of his own. We never planned on this, but Alzheimer's happens to be the path we're on. Pedestrian, I know.