Strength Training Saved My Marriage

Strength Training Saved My Marriage

Strength training saved my marriage. No wait, that should be, my marriage saved my strength training, which it turns out has amazing benefits that probably contribute to marital health. Let me unpack that. I’m a 60-something male. I’ve dabbled in a number of athletic endeavors, not particularly gifted in any of them, but I tried. As I aged out of most of those, various work demands led me to jog, do some light weights and generally stay active. For the past dozen or so years my physical training has been an aerobics/strength training class two or three times a week (thank you Body & Soul Fitness), occasionally helping the guys in my landscape company lay sod or dig holes for plants and riding the Yamaha Virago. (Ok the Yamaha is stretch but it does produce mental/emotional strength) Honestly, the twice weekly classes are the foundation for my being able to do a lot of the things I enjoy, including the Yamaha (I do have a Harley Fatboy but that’s another story). The classes aren’t crazy but they are driven because the instructors are driven. The classes are balanced and even entertaining because the instructors are prepared, trained and creative.

Truth be told, I don’t give much thought to the well-rounded nature of the training we do. I don’t think much the practical application of many of the exercises and weight training we do. At least I didn’t until yesterday. Yesterday I had a foot replacement, or that’s how i am characterizing it to friends for empathy’s sake. It was routine surgery on two toes that included 5 screws, one plate, one rod, one bone graft all performed under excellent anesthesia. Until yesterday I really did not think about how much I use, need, and rely on the cardio and the weight training.  But I am today. Here’s the short list.

  • Walking with crutches. (which I get to do for six, yes six weeks….no weight bearing on the aforementioned foot for six weeks) is very aerobic and the upper body workouts and core exercises make this only moderately annoying. (I do wish we had done more armpit strengthening exercises…are there any?)
  • Zooming on the scooter Friends loaned me one of those scooters you place your injured leg on and then power yourself with your other leg. Every balance exercise we have done has given me exactly what I need to go faster and faster through the house, to my wife’s horror, and especially the corners. (enforced speed limit signs are coming I just know it).
  • Potty breaks. Never in my life have I been so thankful for tricep dips on the steps, round the world planks, push-ups and lat pull downs…but I am now. Without being too graphic, no weight bearing on the right leg means that the left leg and left arm are required to lower and raise my 180 lbs. down and then hopefully back up (of course we don’t have handicap bars in the bathroom, we weren’t handicapped when we built it).
  • Living with change. I don’t always show up for the workouts with a great attitude. But I show up. Sometimes the best I can muster is, ok let’s get it over with (I usually don’t say this out loud because I live with one of the instructors).  Always, always, at the end of the session, I feel better. I feel like I’ve accomplished something, done my ‘bit for the bod’ as one of my friends says. The endorphins aren’t bad either.

Rob Heath

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    So great to see an article from a guy on here, especially one written by my own instructors husband! This was funny, practical, and relatable. Thanks Rob.

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    Thanks for sharing these great reminders of the good madness found in the consistency of Showing Up and Working Out with weight bearing exercises, good music, and energetic leaders! I too love Body and Soul fitness workouts for their ability to help me keep my #GrannyGoals.