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Just Rethink and Modify

[ 2 ] 04/14/2012 |

Many, many years ago when I was in grade school, we learned a little rhyme about multiplying fractions. It went “Ours is not to wonder why, just invert and multiply”. I’m not sure what got me thinking about that last week, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. I was driving myself crazy the more I said it.

I was at piyo class last week and that kept going through my head. Don’t math rhymes go through your head when you are trying to exercise? I didn’t think so, but I thought I’d ask. On the 87th recitation of “Ours is not to wonder why” it hit me. “It’s not the time to worry why, just rethink and modify”.

A lot of you know that I am not a little, petite thing. I am in need of losing some weight. I am in need of some serious exercise. I am working on both of those things. As of right now, I think I am doing a pretty good job of it.

The facts are the facts though. I am 57 years old and have arthritis in one knee. I have a bad ankle from an injury a few years ago that I should have doctored with and didn’t. I am finally realizing in earnest that I shouldn’t do all the things that the younger, more fit students do at class.

It is not a bad thing to modify. It doesn’t make me any less of student to ask what the modification is for a given exercise. If it puts too much stress on my knee and I do it anyway, I’m going to pay for it in a not good way. Limping with a swollen ankle the next day when I am up and down with preschoolers doesn’t work.

I’ve had to modify the Kick Ass April workout. I can’t do burpees. The up and down on my knee just kills me. I can do mountain climbers, so I’ve substituted those for the burpees. They still hurt, but it’s a different kind of hurt. Mountain climbers don’t make my knee swell. Burpees do.

I am very lucky in the fact that I have one of the best fitness instructors ever. She has no problem with my modifying. She’ll even yell out a modification if she sees me struggling and not asking for it myself. All she asks is that I just keep moving. Her goal is to help me feel and look better. She understands that I am not 25 years younger like she is. She gets it.

There is no shame in modifying a move if you need to. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t willing to work out hard. It doesn’t mean that you are a wimp. It means that you are smart enough to not want to hurt yourself. Feel free to follow my lead. If you are working out and it hurts in a bad way, just rethink and modify. Your body will be happier and so will you.

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Category: Fitness, MOVE IT, Nancy, The Sisterhood

About Nancy: I'm a 58 year old wife, mom and grammy. I've been married to my wonderful husband for 39 years and we have four daughters and three grandchildren. I've been chosen to be the mature voice of the Sisterhood and I couldn't be more excited. My passions are my family, photography and my new found enthusiasm for fitness and weight loss. In a moment of crazy, I signed up to walk the 2013 Indianapolis Mini Marathon. View author profile.

  • Stillmary

    Good advice, Nancy.  It’s something that someone like me should really embrace.  I’m dealing with an injury right now and wondering how I’ll get back on track – now I’m thinking I’ll just have to modify!  Thanks for sharing!

  • Nickicaylor

    As always Nancy you inspire me. Love ya!