Double Edge Pledge
By Tina Portelli
While in the throes of acceptance, I experience hope. I know I will never
be a size four again, but that does not discourage me from fantasizing
about it. Even as I acknowledge middle age and the limitations of it, I
dream about recapturing my youthful body, or, as close as I can get to it.
This is not an easy task. It is difficult to keep one leg raised while
squeezing my abs tight, inhale and exhale. It is no easy feat to stand
tall, balanced on one foot holding a purple ball over my head. The effort
of dressing and undressing, showering and redoing myself in itself renders
me breathless, as does carrying my gym equipment.
In an effort to stick with it, I have joined a better gym. Better towels,
better showers, better steam, better reasons to go there. The pampering
element, the more frills I can find in a club, the better my attendance
will be. Excersize alone will not get me there.
I soon discovered that my motivation to stay fit has two levels, hope and
I find hope "Uptown" and fear "Downtown". These are the two locations I
can choose from to workout.
The uptown location is "State of the Art". New tile, updated equipment,
larger facilities, a more pleasant place to go. Everyone there dresses the
part, from matching socks and running shoes to perfect color coordinated
spandex. It is a youthful crowd, inspiring me to work harder, giving me
hope that I may someday aspire to the level of fitness and firmness I am
seeing in these strong, well toned young bodies. Yes, they are my
The downtown location is "Old" as is the crowd. The space is smaller, the
tile a bit dull, the carpet worn. The equipment while functional is not
the newest. I have been locker-room shocked to see what gravity has done
to these past middle age women. Enough so, that I am motivated to work
harder, trying to defeat the calling of age. In their overlay of naked
drooping fat there is sadness. Yet I give them credit for being there in
the first place. I appreciate the glimpse of what my fate could be, knowing
I will someday change too, realizing what I have to do to prolong the
inevitable. Yes, these old women are my motivation too. They make me
afraid "Not to" workout.
So when I want the luxury of the new club, I go "Uptown" even if it does
make me feel inferior to these svelte young women, reminding me of my
And when I want to feel like Miss America, I go downtown.
Either way I sway, I am motivated!