Teresina: My Recovery

March 17, 2006


[A continuation of the first chapter in Teresina’s book called “Ride 4 Your Life.”]

After my knee became stronger, I got cocky and bored (a very dangerous combination). Between swimming, the clothes changing, chlorine hair, and having to go to the gym, it was just too much to do everyday. And I also wanted to sweat. I needed something to get my adrenaline going the way that aerobics did. The treadmill and the stair stepper put too much stress on my joints, and because of that, I couldn’t use them, ever.

Reneé suggested that I get on the stationary bike and ride –– fast! So, through no choice of my own I discovered the bike. Even better, there was no stress and no weight-bearing, joint-jolting damage. But, after a while, although I was getting a lot of reading done, some how something was missing. More than that, I got BORED. Really bored. I ached to move, longed for the exhilaration I felt when I danced. And although I was sustaining a healthy weight, I still felt like it was a struggle. When I did the aerobics and the swimming, when all the parts of my body were being used, I could eat and lose weight, which was (and still is) my favorite thing. There I was at the gym, working out for 45 minutes at a clip, but needed to exercise my upper body after that. So after an hour plus, I’m still not feeling great. There had to be something more; I was only working my lower body, and my upper body was just…there.

Then I had a thought. I decided I would try to do everything that I had done in classes over the years with my arms, ON THE BIKE. I started moving, and something happened. My heart began to pound, and I started to get sweaty! I immediately felt the blood and endorphins coursing through my body. It was joyous, I was pumped, I was high. I danced –– and then ––– I got bored again, which is not unusual for me.

I had done some weight training over the course of my physical education, so I knew how to use weights effectively. I thought to myself, “How boring, just standing here doing all these reps, why take the extra time after the bike exercise? Why not just do my free-weight exercises at the same time!”

Who would run with weights? It’s much too dangerous. But if you are sitting, if you don’t have to worry about falling, or injuring yourself, or losing your balance, or tripping, it becomes safe! Your legs are going around and around and around, working, pumping, moving, but you can concentrate on upper-body sculpting, breathing, burning fat, accurate form, letting go of tension and igniting the metabolism –– which is the key to weight loss!

As I moved the weights, I felt my whole body working. This was cool. Whether I was doing a portebra (a ballet arm movements), or a military press (an overhead press with weights), I could feel my body energized. I was getting an all over workout, not experiencing boredom, getting skinny and eating! I was getting more done in less time. I was wearing myself out and loving it. I didn’t have to have a teacher, a pool, a studio, a gym, or a class. I felt liberated. I felt in control.

As time went on, I added bands and bars, and as time went on, a program that will keep you fit and happy –– in just ten minutes a day –– was born. The best news for me is that, after all these years, I’m still not bored. There is always something new to come up with: a new move, a new exercise, a new stretch, something to think about, or music –– new or old –– to inspire me to perspire.

After many years of torturing myself, I now have chosen to dedicate my energy to something that has become profoundly worthwhile. And after years of self-abuse, eating disorders, bad relationships, doormat behavior, and the everlasting desire for skinniness, I have found a program that I can’t wait to share with you: it’s call Ride 4 Your Life!

© 2006 by Teresina


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