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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Good Report Card

I was really happy today because I got a very good report card from my doctor. (actually from the lab; I don't see the doctor until Wednesday) For the past year, I have been fretting about my health; last year at this time I had some crummy cholesterol counts and was inching towards diabetes with high blood glucose. I lost some weight and got an iPod for Mother's Day 2005, which helped me with my daily walks-in-the-park. So my cholesterols improved a little but the blood glucose only went down by the tiniest fraction. I was getting bummed out and seeing needles in my future.

This fall was hard; I went to beautiful Blue Mountain, where I got almost no exercise due to daily rain or snow. I ate too many warm cookies from the oven. I gained more weight. By the time the holidays passed and January rolled around, I was feeling discouraged, totally out of shape and like Jabba the Hut.

Then my wonderful, fantastic friend Melanie gave me the best New Year's gift: a free ticket for a kickboxing class at some place called DJ's Martial Arts. I kind of laughed at this. Kickboxing? ME?!?!? Yea right. But then another friend, Christine, said she was going to give it a go, and even though I was terrified, I mean TERRIFIED, I decided to go.

The class was hard. It was super sweaty, grungey, painful and intense. But it was unbelievably fun. The instructor, Doug Jones (DJ himself!) was an absolute hoot. And I could tell that even though he was goofing around like crazy, that he took what he was doing seriously.

I loved the class. It was so funny because I have belonged to a lot of fancy shmancy gyms: gyms where each treadmill had its own personalized DVD player, and they'd cue it up to the place you last stopped watching; gyms with amazing views of the Bay; gyms that cost an arm and a leg. But those were, at their essence, cold places with people who didn't care whether I weighed 400 pounds or 115. They were just punching their timeclock and looking at themselves in their mirrors.

DJ's place is different. It is funky. It is as real as can be. It is hot and the exercise mats are grubby and the music is loud and Motowny and thumps through your bones. But the best thing is Doug, who has got to be the World's Most Encouraging Trainer, ever. He trained the guys in The Matrix movies and a ton of other Hollywoody things. He could train a gerbil to think it was an Arabian horse. After about six kickboxing classes, I was thoroughly hooked and asked if I could sign up for personal training.

I have never had a teacher like this teacher. I love having a teacher, whom I know really and truly cares about how I am doing; and he is always pushing, pushing, pushing. Last week I climbed 15 flights of 100 stairs. (at once) I chugged up this steep concrete incline-hill thing, 15x. I ran around the track at the bottom of my hill four times. Until now, I had never really "believed" in endorphins. Exercise has always been a tedious, awful, punishing thing to me. But no more. I believe! I believe! After a session with Doug, I am flying and bouncy and happy for hours. And: this week, I bought some new clothes on Mother's Day, and did not cry in the dressing room.

Today I got my first report card. It made me so happy. I am no longer borderline anything: diabetes or heart attack or any of those bad things. I am squarely, solidly in NORMAL range.



Blogger Bustopher Jones said...

Congratulations, Susan! That's wonderful. There's nothing more important than your health! DJs website cracked me up, by the way. He must be a character.

Monday, May 15, 2006 10:12:00 PM

Blogger C(h)ristine said...

this post pierced my cold cold heart. i know what you speak of, my friend.

doug is a G*dsend!

Monday, May 15, 2006 10:43:00 PM

Blogger C(h)ristine said...

and yay for your bettered health! that is HUGE!

Monday, May 15, 2006 10:43:00 PM

Blogger Libby said...

this is fabulous, Susan, the improved health and the way you're feeling--great!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 3:28:00 AM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

This is such an awesome, inspiring post. I lost a bunch of weight between July and January of last year, and was working out addictively. Then stopped. For THREE MONTHS. I don't know why I keep doing that to myself. But I finally went back a couple of weeks ago. It's hard. But this post is so dead on in its good-for-you-ness, I'm re-inspired. So, thank you.

And, congratulations!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 3:29:00 PM

Blogger melanie said...

Susan, you're doing great, and I'm so proud of all your butt-kicking progress - and of you!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 8:31:00 PM

Blogger Susan said...

Jennifer, I used to do that all the time - quit for three months, or even a year sometimes. Then I'd feel awful. But now I feel so grateful to have Doug, and I know that if I ever tried to "quit" he'd come to my house and drag me out. There's no quitting anymore.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:50:00 AM

Anonymous Wendy said...

SuSAN, I loved this post. I hate to ask but does Doug know anyone REMOTELY like him in Manhattan. Maybe he doesn't but he seems so perfect, and I have an out of shape family, weirdly all at once. Congrats and if you have time ask if there's a clone on east coast. Keep it going Susan, xxoo Wendy

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 8:03:00 PM


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