LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

“The journey into strength is not just about sculpting the body but how we can use the pathway of our bodies as a way to mine the strength in ourselves. “

Karen Andes,  A Woman’s Book of Strength

There have been times in my life, and will be again, when my body will say “find another way” besides movement and steel, when it will need to lay low, perhaps to focus the mind and spirit’s strength for healing or maintaining. Each day and each season have their needs and limits.

But this moment is my time for stretching, grunting, sweating, having some pride in sore muscles, improving balance and posture, and generally shoring up my frame for the long haul.

Buck and I have settled into a routine at Pensacourt: Mondays and Thursdays from Noon to 1:00 o’clock we work with Justin. He greets us with a “hello” and walks swiftly across the room, past the treadmills and eliptical machines, to the area containing an array of Cybex machines and free weights. In between those days, we use our own treadmill, do a few minutes of morning stretches and walk the woods.

“Give me 15” is Justin’s mantra. Three sets of 15 repetitions on each particular movement, whether it’s lunges, arm curls, shrugs, overhead press, prone hamstring curl or one of his thousand variations on building abdominal strength. Justin is a stickler for correct form and proper breathing, an attribute which I respect. It makes me feel like I am not wasting motion or, worse, doing injury.

God help me. I’m beginning to enjoy this.

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