Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Makes A Person Change?

What makes a person change?  What makes that light go on and you know that your life will be different? A wonderful thing happened on Friday, March 18th.  I introduced my husband's brother to exercise for the first time in 60 years.  My husband and his brother, Russell, are twins and celebrating their 60th birthday. Russell and his wife decided to visit us here in Mexico so they could celebrate their birthdays together.  I wanted to give Russell something special for his birthday.  Russell has two bad knees from degenerative joints and has been told he will need to have knee replacement surgery on both knees.  He has been overweight for a long time which probably has contributed to his knee problems.  For the past two years, Russell has been on a weight loss program and has loss over 130 lbs..  He still needs to lose another 50 lbs which I am certain now he will.  Russell also has a herniated disc in his lower back which continues to be a chronic problem.  Knowing that Russell had all these health issues, I still felt that he could exercise to improve his health and strengthen his body.  I decided that I would give him a set of resistance bands for his birthday and teach him how to exercise.  Needless to say when I gave them to him, he was a bit surprised and wondering what the hell am I going to do with this.  I guaranteed him he could work out with them without hurting himself.  The next morning we got started with his first training session.  All the exercises we did with the resistance band was seated in a chair.  We hooked the bands on the leg of the TV entertainment credenza. 
I put together a 30 minute program that he could do sitting down in a chair.  We also did some exercises to help strengthen his knees.  After the workout he said he felt invigorated and full of energy.  He actually went for a walk on the beach!  The next day we worked out, and again he said he felt invigorated. We worked out again on the third day and following his workout, I told him I was going to our fitness center here at our condominium complex to do my workout.  He said he wanted to go and maybe walk on the treadmill.  Now here is a guy who has NEVER stepped foot in a gym, wanting to go workout.  We went to the gym and I got him on the treadmill walking at a slow, comfortable pace.  He was able to do it for 12 minutes.  He also wanted to do some of the weight machines.  He actually did 5 exercise machines!  I couldn't believe it.  He felt fine later, no pain, even in the knees.  Amazing.  And again the next day we worked out with the resistance band and he went to the gym with me.  He did the treadmill and some of the exercise machines again.  He even talked about joining the gym when he got back home (he lives in upstate New York).  The next day when we worked out I took pictures of him doing each exercise so he would remember them when he got back home.

I put together a complete workout program for him that he could easily follow.  Russell thanked me that day he returned home and said that it was the best gift he had ever received.  So what happened that changed him from never working out, never having the desire to workout, to wanting to exercise everyday? Was it just being shown that he could do something that was comfortable and didn't hurt?  Or was he just ready to make a change to improve his health?  Whatever the reason, I am glad that I had the opportunity to help him.  Here's Russell, 60 years old and feeling younger than ever.

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