Warrior workout

When my grandmother was my age, she scoffed at her friend who did yoga. Noni kept in shape by clattering around the world in moderately high heels. I never saw her do anything more strenuous than that.

My mother, at my age, tried to do chair yoga. Her back was a mess, and she never got very far. She tried to exercise in a swimming pool, but she was afraid of putting her face in the water. She couldn’t swim, and besides those pesky rubber hats ruined her updo. She preferred playing piano.

I’m probably in better physical shape than either of them were, but I’m still hunting for that elusive exercise that I actually “like” to do.


I used to walk three miles a day, but I’ve fallen off that wagon with a resounding thud. Why? I stopped enjoying it. I don’t even know why.

I have a set of silks for doing aerial yoga. I was dying to do it. And then I discovered that the beam from which I intended to hang didn’t feel secure at all. And none of the other ceilings with exposed beams are high enough. Nor are there tree limbs that are conveniently accessible or of the proper size. So despite the lure of hanging in the air and attempting to look graceful and strong, my silks are unused.

“How about the steel beams in the garage?” suggested KB in an effort to be helpful.

“There is nothing appealing about hanging with your nose scraping a dirty concrete floor,” I said.

He, gave up. There’s no helping some people.

During the shutdown, I discovered online ballet workouts, and they are actually kind of enjoyable. Some chirpy young women conduct classes that are not only a tough workout but also make you laugh while you’re doing them.

“Why are we doing another five sets?” one asks the camera. “Because I cannot remember how many we’ve done so far! Big smile, everyone!  And …”

Yesterday, equipment for the antithesis of a ballet workout arrived. It is a steel mace, a seven-pound metal rod with a handle terminating in a small ball. The goal is to use it not just like dumbbells, but to swing it around in such a controlled manner that would definitely cause a concussion to anyone who accidentally was in the way.

“Is that for home security?” KB asked, eyeing it suspiciously.

“It’s for exercising!”

He looked dubious.

There are lots of YouTube instructors, and I had enough respect for this new weapon to know I need the Workout For Absolute Beginners And Old Folks. I did the first one this morning.

I locked the dog in the house for her own protection, went outside, and swung that thing around in a very, very careful manner.

It wasn’t entirely fun, but it was a little fun. It felt like channeling my inner Viking warrior crone. I didn’t even know I had one of those. And more importantly, it felt like it might be a very good antidote to my excessive time hunched over a computer and a phone.

But no promises that I’ll keep at it. I’ll keep it by the door. Either way, it’s still a fine home-protection device.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.