January 5, 2017
Two years ago this winter, I discovered TRX.
I was the quintessential middle-aged mom with a desk job who didn’t like exercise and used to be a fit farm girl. I didn’t grow up with people who “exercised”; I grew up with people who worked. Alas, that isn’t my life anymore. I do some farm work, but mostly I type. And I take pictures. It was time to do something different.
A friend directed me to a TRX class at a gym in the next town over. I literally had no idea what I was doing, but I went anyway. Desperation will do that to you.
It turns out, I loved it. TRX suspension training uses your body weight and gravity as you perform hundreds of exercises that develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability, using straps that are suspended from an overhead bar. You adjust your body position to make it harder or easier, and you work up and get stronger every time. Apparently it was started by a Navy SEAL — information I didn’t know when I started, which was probably for the best.
I go twice a week, which is the best I can do at 30 minutes away. If I lived closer, I’d be there more often, for sure. But this is what I can do. And here’s what I know: After two years, I’m as strong at 40 as I was as a teenager baling hay all summer. That’s something.
This winter, my 8-year-old, Caroline, got in on the act, going with me over Christmas break. She’s our tree-climbing, bendy, muscular baby of the family, and while at first she mostly liked to swing on the straps and flop around, she’s really gotten into it. She planks and pikes and does chest presses with the best of them. She even breaks a sweat occasionally, which makes me feel better. Granted, her goal may just be to get stronger than her brother and sister, but still. Everybody needs a goal.
I think perhaps I’m not alone in feeling out of shape in the ag community. A lot of what we do is still physical, but a lot of it isn’t. And it’s awfully easy to lose strength and muscle, especially as we age. In the end, it doesn’t necessarily matter what we do, I think — just so we get up and get moving.
“I’m gonna get strong,” Caroline told me during one session, panting. Amen, sister.
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