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First day in the gym

Active for Life blogger John Olson

John Olson is a participant in the IU Department of Kinesiology's Adult Fitness Program.

My first experience with actual exercise was shortly after being accepted in to the adult fitness program. We met at 6 a.m. in a room set up for gymnastics at the time.

I had to admit to some trepidation -- I had visions of high bars and vaults -- but the floor looked soft, and I figured I would bounce. My fears were groundless though. We started out with introductions and some simple warm ups. We walked around the room with an exercise leader explaining how to walk and stretch (walk on your toes, walk on your heels, etc). Then we sat on the floor and stretched out and tried to touch our toes. I knew I had toes but hadn't really seen them in years. Being considerably over weight and out of shape, I was thinking that this was not bad but definitely was a workout. Then we broke up and were ready for some real exercise.

For my first try at some real exercise, we went outside and walked around the arboretum that I still remember as the old Little Five stadium. My exercise leader walked with me to see what help I needed. It is nearly a mile around and even has a small up-slope to it. I can't remember how long it took me, but I do remember thinking that it was considerably longer than the distance from my desk to the restroom (my only walking for years on the job).

After this introduction to the world of the physically fit, I continue to work out every week. The AFP program offered me the opportunity to exercise under the guidance of professional fitness experts and advanced students in training to be professionals. There were also several opportunities to participate in various research projects that will help those professionals (actual and budding) become more adept at handling the graying generation.

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