For the first time in years, I joined an exercise class. Not just any class, a chair exercise class. The kind for people who have great-grandchildren.
I took four steps inside, and froze. A roomful of gray heads spun to face me. Seven people who could've been from ads in AARP magazine eyed me with suspicion. Their facial expressions sneered, "infiltrator!" The silver-haired instructor asked incredulously, "Are you here to participate in this class?" As if she assumed I'd wandered in from the HOT YOGA FOR BAD ASSES class going on upstairs.
Yes, it felt humiliating. I had no other choice, unless I wanted to stay home and let my muscles atrophy even more. I fought Lyme disease for years, and I wish I could say I didn't take it lying down. But that's exactly what Lyme patents do. Because I'd been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a hungry tick mistook me for a Happy Meal. Three years of antibiotics, (some of that time on IV) and even when it was finally over I faced serious complications.
Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful just to be able to walk. And it's not as if I'm in a wheelchair. I lead a relatively normal life now. But to be honest, halfway through the class my arms screamed and my shoulders wept. But worse than that, my EGO whimpered! I struggled to keep up with the 85-year-old guy across from me. I could probably hold my own if we arm wrestled, but he outlasted me. He did more reps than me with 2.5 pound weights.
(That's right. Two-and-a-half!)
So I have a ways to go. And I left there humbled, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just goes to show you that the old adage is true. You really can't judge a book by its cover.