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Start to exercise — feel the love

It’s the end of May and I play my favorite game: How many people who signed up for classes and gym use in January and February are still working out?

There’s hardly a crushing disappointment and the numbers reflect the dream of total body transformation is still very much alive.

Oh, it is a beautiful thing to see, a rainbow coalition of the sweaty and the purposeful. If you want diversity, you’ve got it. Low carbers mingle with weight watchers and HCG’ers. The step aerobicisers mix with the Pilates disciples.

The treadmill regulars and the recumbent bikers, the free-weight addicts and those who build muscles from pulleys and machines, all are getting along.

And in the pool, they come in all shapes and sizes; the fat guy in a Speedo is the crowd pleaser.

“We’ve come a long way,” I said to Harry. “I’m feeling the love in this building. How about you?” Harry stared at me and said nothing. But, I am used to this — I get it all the time — and did not take it personally at all.

As I work out, contributing and partaking of the energy in the recreation center, it occurs to me that the same scene is being enacted in thousands of gyms and recreation centers all over the country.

The message being beaten into Americans now is this: We’re all fat. Over 65 percent of the country, we’re reminded over and over again, is overweight or obese. With the way people are eating these days, is it any wonder that everybody needs to do something?

Put the fork down every once in awhile, the experts say. Get off your duff and do something.

So, we flock to gyms and recreation centers every year at this time, still trying to make good on our New Year resolutions to drop weight, tone up, get presentable for swimsuit season (which, by the way, is upon us if you haven’t already noticed), and blah, blah, blah.

Folks in the fitness industry spend sleepless nights thinking of ways and means to broaden the reach and appeal of the business to a much larger population. Hard bodies have had their day — now it’s time for “real” people.

Okay, I am not saying it’s time to exclude the guy with the freakish rock-hard abs, upon which I can park my mountain bike. No, I like having him around. It’s just that the time has come to focus on real people with real needs.

Local facilities are staffed by folks who can help you. Don’t be shy to make that first step. Engaging in regular physical activity doesn’t come naturally. The lure of the couch is strong. The temptation of the corn chips can be overwhelming. The same can’t be said of the treadmill.

If you are still on the couch, you may just not feel the love. So, for the next couple of weeks, I’ll provide some basic suggestions on how to get started — not the love part, but the exercise part that may someday lead to more feelings of love. Until then, every time you hear the dirty word “exercise,” you may wash your mouth out with chocolate. Go ahead and keep “sinning” until I can convince you to take the first step.

Fishing derby

The Pagosa Lakes Annual Kids Fishing Derby is scheduled for Friday, June 4, at Lake Forest. The Kids Fishing Derby is open to the general public, kids 16 and under. The event is free and begins at 9 a.m. and will run until noon.

At noon we plan to have a prize awards ceremony followed by a hot dog lunch; every kid will receive a prize.

The lakes are all fully stocked with plenty of rainbow trout and we anticipate a great day of fishing.

If you have any questions or for more information, call the PLPOA administration office, 731-5635, Ext. 4. Stay tuned for additional announcements in next week’s SUN.