The exercise hasn't helped much with weight loss (thanks in part to our close proximity to bacon and Sour Patch Kids), but there are so many other benefits. When Linda's walking regularly, she's also, uh .... regular. She sleeps better. She's made friends at the gym. She's proud of her accomplishments. And, best of all, her mood improves.
Getting her to the gym, however, is about as easy as convincing my camo-wearing, truck-loving six-year old nephew that Barbies are better than Hot Wheels. This is how a typical workout day plays out:
Me: I'm gonna go to they gym today. Do you want to come?
Me: Okay, but why don't you take a walk then. You haven't been on a walk in three days.
Linda: ARGH!!! I hate going to the gym!
Me: I know, so do I, but it keeps us healthy. The doctor wants us to go.
Linda: Why doesn't she mind her own business? (Yes, that's a direct quote.)
Me: The quicker we get there, the quicker we'll be home.
Linda: I'm only doing 30 minutes.
Me: That's fine. You don't have to walk longer than 30 minutes.
Walk to the car. Linda grumbles the whole way. Get in the car.
Linda: (varies daily) The Tiger play today. I hope they win. The Yankees can go home. When's Adrian's baby due? I can't wait for Survivors.
Arrive at gym. Enter gym.
Gym members: Linda!
Polite small talk ensues. Linda starts her treadmill. I finish my 35 minute workout and let her know that I'm done.
Linda: I'm not done yet.
Five minutes later.
Linda: I did 40 minutes today!
Leave gym. Drive home. Linda proceeds to call sisters, brother, nieces, Matt, and any other phone number on her list to let them know that she did 40 minutes today.
I wish I could say I'm exaggerating, but I'm not (well, maybe about the phone calls - she doesn't always call everyone on the list, but she certainly loves to let people know). Linda has lived with me 2.5 years, and 98% of the time this is what happens when we go to the gym. Sometimes there's swearing and the car conversation always changes, but the pattern remains:
2. Work out.
3. Feel better/proud/accomplished.
I've been temped to let the workout slide, but the results are worth the struggle. She's never thanked me for taking her to the gym, but she does tell me how good she feels afterwards. That's all I need to hear.