Friday, April 24, 2009

I have invited Sonia Marsh, author of Gutsy Writer blog to write a guest post about exercise.

What Exercise Has Done For Me

As a 51-year-old woman who used to hate exercising, I am truly grateful for the benefits that weight lifting has offered me in my life.

I spent the first 25 years of my life in Paris, not exercising. It wasn’t until I moved to southern California in 1983, that I realized my body didn’t look firm, like most women around me. I plucked up the courage to step inside a weight room where everything seemed foreign. I tried to blend in but ended up leaving frustrated. I had no clue what I was doing.

After being shown how to exercise with weights, I discovered that I was in control of my workout, and that the only person I had to compete against was me. I enjoyed not having to worry about letting a team down if I screwed up. The harder I worked out, the quicker the results, and the best part was that I noticed my body becoming more defined. I did it for me, not for anyone else.

I started getting stronger and realized that by going to the gym almost every morning, after my cup of coffee I couldn’t make up excuses. It soon became a discipline. This discipline transcended into all aspects of my life. It helped me during my three pregnancies, and to get in shape again afterwards. It helped me feel better about myself, and to stay within five pounds of the same weight, over the last 26 years.

At 46, my husband and I left California with our three sons, and moved to Belize, Central America for one amazing, life changing year. Despite the year-round humidity, I continued working out, drenched in sweat, at the local gym, Oscar’s. The only air-conditioning came from the Caribbean breezes. The salt air caused rust to flake off the dumbbells and fall onto my face. I closed my eyes so as not to feel the salty mixture of sweat and rust. I persevered.

Life was not easy in Belize. My husband and I had to carry ten, 5 gallons containers of water, each weighing 42 pounds, up the boat dock, along the beach and up a wooden staircase to our house on Ambergris Caye, in Belize.

At 51, I see the benefits of weight training in every aspect of my life, especially in my positive outlook on life. We no longer live in Belize, but I still workout six mornings a week, and shall continue to do so, as my life is just starting. As my kids leave the nest, I plan on volunteering for the Peace Corps with my husband and need to keep in good health and stay strong.

It’s never too late to start an exercise program. Even studies with men and women in their eighties, show that exercise is key to gaining strength, staying positive and reducing the need for medication. I hope to see you at the gym.

Sonia Marsh is a freelance writer. I encourage you to visit her blog at: There you will see how she stepped out of the rat race and into the human race....


LadyFi said...

Great post by Sonia! Thanks for featuring her today - very inspiring... (I'll be 50 this year and am nowhere as defined as she is!)

Gigi Ann said...

Enjoyed the post today by Sonia. Will be back to visit another day.

swenglishexpat said...

You certainly are very dedicated and determined. I am ten years older than you, and these days I walk a lot, cycle and jog. I used to run more often before, and it has certainly done me a lot of good. I have managed to keep my weight the same through life, same now as thirty years ago. A healthy life style is what everybody needs!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I use the treadmill. I was thinking about adding weights. You've inspired me to do so!

Kelly said...

I need to get back to this! I had lost 50 pounds a few years ago... though it is now back plus some. I did it by walking and lifting weights. It seemed to melt away. Life got too busy, and I am back at square one. Thank you for sharing! I am feeling too old at 34 to start this... but you have inspired me to look harder!

Gutsy Living said...

Elizabeth Bradley,
Glad to see you're inspired.

34 is young and just think you have another 50-60 or more to live. So please think about how you want to feel when you're 50 or 60? You'll have grandkids then, and will probably want to spend time with them. You've done it before, you can do it again, but make it a part of your life this time.

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