Sock It To Me

Sock It To Me


Hey now!  Getting Fancy!
Hey now! Getting Fancy!


Tend to think I can handle myself around a gym.  

Heck, I’ve been working out since I was 16.

And although MS has slowed me down a bit, I still manage to exercise five or six times a week in the privacy of my basement.


So when I’m out of town visiting my mom, who lives in a nursing home, I miss my basement gym and the joy it provides.

But low & behold, mom’s facility hosts an exercise class each morning called “Sit and Be Fit.”



“Sit and Be Fit” allows participants to sit in a straight-back chair, or their wheelchair, and be led through a complete, full-body, range-of-motion, 30-minute exercise session!


“We’re there, Ma.  Let’s go feel the burn!”


In the activity room, I sized up the gathering of all-lady gym rats.

There was enough support hose in that room to hold up a skyscraper.

“Softies” I said to myself.


Clad in my bandana, sleeve-less T and parachute pants, the women knew I was hardcore—-or an asshole, I couldn’t quite tell.

I was easily the youngest in the room by a quarter-century.  Yep, this was gonna be a butt-whooping!


But then I felt an icy stare.  Looking up, I locked eyes with the matriarch of the nursing home.

Ida was NOT happy.
Ida was NOT happy.


It was Ida.

One hundred and one years old, Ida had a scowl that made Teddy Roosevelt retreat.


Fearless, I met her glare eye-to-eye.

“You ready to get pumped, blue-hair?” I said in my mind.

Here face said it all…“Bring it, punk.”



And with that class began.

We started with neck, arms and chest.

Each movement, 15 reps.  Challenging, but not depleting.

Who would be the first to falter?


A re-creation of "Sit and Be Fit."
A re-creation of “Sit and Be Fit.”


We did shoulders.

And then waist.

I glanced at Ida.  She wasn’t moving.  Eyes closed.

Was she asleep?

Quick, someone put a mirror under her nose!

But then she stirred and continued on…11-12-13-14 and 15.



We moved to legs.

I knew I was toast as my legs move less than a mannequin

While the other ladies were kicking and stepping, I tried my best with two dead legs but looked more like I was figeting in the chair like I had to poop!

It was embarrasing.


Any takers?
Any takers?



Defending my reputation and male ego, I pulled on my shirt to unleash my bicep.

I challenged anyone to arm wrestle.

But there were no takers.




We took three deep, relaxing breaths and class was dismissed.


Ida gave me one last glance & a simple nod before pushing her rollator through the doorway.  I responded with a nod of respect for a well-fought battle.


I made it through “Sit and Be Fit.”  We all did.

And it was good knowing how well one can feel through movement.  Even seated as we were.

You can feel it too.

C’mon, give your body what it craves.  Move!

You’ll feel better.  You’re attitude will brighten.  Spasticity will lessen.  As will fatigue.  And sleep will be deeper.

I promise.

MS wants you to be still.  But don’t listen to it.

Get moving.


3 Replies to “Sock It To Me”

  1. I went to one, sit and be fit session. I was really trying to focus and participate, but this was a MS support group that meets regularly. I was so frustrated and disappointed. It should have been called sit, talk, bitch, and gossip. I just wanted to exercise and stretch in peace and quiet. Never went back again! It would have been ok to quietly discuss different problems that we all face. That may have been more productive, in my opinion. Sorry such a long comment. Be well ( as we can be) Night .

  2. Yes exercise makes me feel so much better! I get lazy part of the day of course! I am glad ms Ida didn’t get you too bad :).

  3. Kim,
    Nah, Ida & I came to a silent compromise.
    Keep moving!

    Sorry your Sit & Be Fit didn’t work so well. There must be another session somewhere near you. Keep searching & try again. Best regards!