Treena Mielke

Treena Mielke

Treena Mielke: Early morning workouts and coffee

My workout started at 5:45 a.m.

As I reached over and shut the alarm off and rolled out of bed one thought went through my head.

“This is ridiculous.”

But, despite the fact it was totally black outside (thanks to our wonderful time change), I did what I was supposed to do, moving with robot like precision.

I found my workout clothes and put them on. I took my blood pressure medication. Trying to stay fit and healthy and keep up with the rest of the fitness people who really are fit and not pretending, could have serious repercussions.

I started my car, feverously cranking up the heat and pushing all the buttons to make the seat warmer as hot as possible.

And then I looked in the mirror. I immediately regretted it. I looked away.

I looked ghastly. I shut the light off, all at once grateful for the darkness.

To add insult to injury the doors to the fitness centre were still locked when I arrived giving me time to stand outside in the freezing wind and moan to myself about how unfair life was.

It was good. I felt better even if it was only me who listened to my sad tale of woe.

Finally, well, actually, at 5:45 a.m., the class started. I stared at the clock thinking, “oh my goodness, how am I ever going to last an hour.”

But amazingly, just like in every other class, I somehow manage to do it. Last the hour.

I struggled to be fluid and flexible like the instructor, but, sadly, I was not.

I think of my littlest grandson who was in a hockey clinic yesterday. Hidden behind his hockey helmet and an entire hockey bag full of equipment I didn’t even know existed was a whole lot of innocence, boyish charm, and sheer determination.

He skated slower than his teammates. He missed the net, not once, but several times when he tried to perfect his slap shot. But he never quit.

And, for his grandma, watching behind the plexiglass, that was all that mattered.

And so, I think to myself as I struggle to get uncooperative muscles and joints to be flexible, “if Jacob won’t quit, neither will I.”

And believe it or not, finally the hour ended and my girlfriend, who was exercising right along with me, said the best words I had heard all morning, “come to my place for coffee.”

And so, I did.

And as we drank our coffee we chatted about the ways of the world and how we, as seniors, were so fortunate.

By accident of birth, we had missed the World Wars. We were around when the polio vaccine was invented. The world we grew up in was relatively peaceful. We were not made to be fearful or ashamed of our religious beliefs.

And we were young once.

And so, we allow ourselves to feel quite happy and proud because, even in the midst of a pandemic, we are lucky enough to be strong and resilient and enjoy a morning coffee after a workout.

And, finally, the sun has come up and there is no snow on the ground.

And that has to be a good thing. A very good thing.

Treena Mielke is a Central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.