I can open the pickle jar! by Rev. Helen T.

Helen T.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that pictures of me look more and more like an an old lady, bent over at the hips and slouching with rounded shoulders as I walk.  I was not happy and for the last couple of years, at least, I’ve tried to pay attention to my posture: stand up straight, shoulders back, as my dear friend and the daughter of a fellow resident told her mother when she walked, “Mom, lead with your thighs!”

I’ve not had much success—until now!  It’s not all of the time, but I find myself doing that more and more.  My back is straight up from my hips and my shoulders are back.  It still takes concentration and real effort.  Habits are hard to break.   I’m really happy about this and intend to keep it up!  I can breathe better.  

It’s also clear to me why now, all of a sudden, I can do it more with much less effort.  It’s the Stretch and Flex class!  I’ve been doing that since I moved in almost ten years ago.  But Lori’s classes are more strenuous.  And I think that is especially true of the core-strengthening ones.  I’m working harder and get tireder. It feels like as my core gets stronger, it’s just natural to stand more erectly with shoulders back.  Classes are also fun and interesting.  We rarely use the “rubber bands”, “jump ropes” and barbells the same way from day to day.  

More benefit, I was looking for a book the other day on the bottom shelf of our library.  I sat down on the floor to look.  Then I got up all by myself without hanging on to anything!  Yay!  And I’ve not had to ask for help to open the pickle jar or any other.  I don’t like getting up early enough for 9:00 o’clock classes.  But I don’t want to miss Stretch and Flex!  And if you see me slouching down the hall,  please remind me to straighten up!!