When I was a young girl I was a tomboy and ran around with all of the boys in the neighborhood. There weren’t many girls my age. As I got older my mother persuaded me to stop running around with the boys and that nice Jewish girls did not exercise. Because I was overweight and a klutz this suited me just fine. When I got to college (University of Chicago) the prevailing attitude was, "if you feel an attack of exercise coming on, lay down and it will pass." It was only after I got into my late forties that I began to appreciate what exercise might do for me. With enormous effort I finally learned to swim when I was 47. I used to swim a half mile at a time, but finally decided it was too boring. I took up weight lifting and other aerobic exercise. I’m still doing it; I still don’t love it. Occasionally I feel that good feeling everyone talks about, but it doesn’t happen often, and I have to look for it. Today was not a great exercise day. I got to the health club determined to do 30 minutes of aerobics before I went to the machines and then to the Tai Chi class. I only managed 20 minutes of aerobics, but I got through the rest of it, with great difficulty. I don’t know why some days are harder than others.

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