Guest Column: Fitness activities maintain positive attitude

Published 7:11 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Creative Connections by Sara Aeikens

Sara Aeikens


About a half-year ago I wrote this column as a follow-up to my experience of my very first visit to my sister and her daughter in their home in Whitehouse, Texas. They had moved from Oklahoma to a town a few miles from Tyler, population around 100,000, a large city in the southeastern corner of Texas, where her other daughter taught chemistry classes at the University of Texas Tyler branch. I still recall enjoying my sister’s amazing backyard pond and nature environment.

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I also appreciated the drives we took around the area and the nearby communities. There seemed to be a church on almost every corner and several in-between. I had the impulse to count them but did not. I found it interesting to be able to attend church with my sister and her daughter and also visit the church where her other daughter and husband and her granddaughter are members.

Another place my sister frequented was a workout center called Planet Fitness.

When she took me along, I thought I’d try a few different workout machines. It appeared  to me to be over a hundred machines, so I was a bit overwhelmed. Not surprising to me, I had difficulty figuring out the electronic functions, but knew I wanted machines that had a seat with a back, like those I use at the Albert Lea Family Y several times a week. I finally decided it didn’t matter as they all seemed complicated, and I ended up trying new ones with mainly weights for the upper body muscles and the arms. 

When my sister wandered over to give me some support and suggested I do around 20 repetitions, I realized how much I didn’t know about workout places like this and also that I was getting tired of trying to figure out how things worked. She then reminded me that getting an electronic hydromassage was a real possibility and had signed us both up this time, even though our first time in attendance they were all in use for the time we could stay.

As we walked back to the area where our beds were, we spotted her daughter in one of the massage chairs, and then I started to really look forward to this new experience without another human involved. It was called a hydro bed and controlled by a button on the wall that fed information into a small computer near my head.

I set it on level 4 of 10 levels, meaning it would result in a fairly strong pressure and vibration starting at my feet and ending at the top of my head with the total rotation time of about two minutes. I found it very relaxing and wondered if I’d ever find a place to do it again. You might be able to conclude that this fitness experience encourages me to keep doing my workout sessions at both our local YMCA and the Senior Center.

When things get more difficult with negative news about myself or my family or my friends (receiving a phone call that one of my cousins just passed away, a close family member needs surgery soon, and about six months ago I had an unplanned surgery that had no negative diagnosis after completion), I sense my fitness activities encourage me to maintain a positive attitude and help me continue writing this Creative Connections column on a regular basis.

Sara Aeikens is an Albert Lea resident. She wrote this column with the assistance of her sister Amelia Nash.