The Bliss Blog



As the daughter of a gym rat, workouts are a genetic imperative. My dad used to lift weights, jump rope and jog throughout my life. Sometimes I would accompany him as he exercised. I instinctively knew that it was what kept him youthful and vibrant nearly until he passed in 2008 of Parkinson’s disease. He had six pack abs into his 70’s and proudly wore a Speedo at the pool of the condo where he and my mom lived in Ft. Lauderdale. His doctors told him that his fitness routine was what kept him going as long as he did. When he died, I cleaned out the kitchen cabinet that held his nutritional supplements and took them home with me. He also made fruit and veggie ‘concoctions’ as my mother referred to them. Beets and carrots were a frequent combo in the mix.

These days, I do my best to emulate my father. Smoothies, mostly veg diet, organic eating as much as possible. Daily workouts either at the gym, yoga mat or in nature. Noticing my 57 year old body feeling more vibrant than I did in my 30’s and 40’s. I notice a few creaks and groans, aches and pains that follow and require slowing down when needed.

Last year, my time in the gym had a medical purpose and was referred to as ‘cardiac rehab’. There I would dutifully go 3-5 times a week, connected to a heart monitor, blood pressure taken and my workouts guided by rehab therapists. After a few months, I was ‘off the tether,’ as I referred to it, but could still use that part of the gym. I felt safer there, being sorta supervised, or at least in calling distance if need be. The gym has three locations and I made the decision last week to start using the one closest to me that has different equipment and isn’t affiliated with cardiac rehab. The purpose was to stop feeling like a cardiac patient. Although the physical symptoms have dissipated, I am mindful of the emotional waves that have ensued. Tears have flowed nearly daily for the past month or so. Feeling as I have had open heart surgery even though I have no incisions to show for it. The healing has been taking place on the inside. More raw and real. Less reserved and reticent. Not tiptoeing around. Clear and discerning what I want and asking for it. That is part of my workout too.

What I notice beyond a flatter belly, firmer calves, more solid shoulders and biceps that would do Michelle Obama proud, I am feeling stronger every day.