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Behind a tightly closed door in my own home, I hear heavy breathing and even some grunting as frigid air comes rushing through the cracks. Could it be that a wild animal broke a window and then stole into the house? No. It’s the “workout wizard,” aka Andre Turan, my husband, a personal/group-fitness guru and holder of more than one world title in fitness. (In contrast, one could say that I hold the world’s record in insomnia). He’s doing one of his exercise routines that doesn’t require any equipment but does need lots of fresh air. A little mid-winter heat loss is always less expensive than joining a gym, right?
When I married Andre, he was the lead singer of a techno-metal rock band called Sunskull. I only became the wife of a personal trainer by default when he decided to become certified as such. Post-certification and re-location to upstate New York (some 20 years ago), Andre commonly noted the many faux pas of joggers along the road. “With that running technique, he’ll eventually have knee trouble. If she doesn’t watch her diet, she can run all she wants but will never lose the weight.” I wondered if he was noticing the great shape I was in—NOT!
“Something’s wrong with my computer!” I yell from my home office. Andre comes to the rescue even though he probably knows less about computers than I do. He’s just a lot more patient, which is why I call for him. One look at the computer and he says, “You’re not doing enough squats!”
“Huh?” I say pointing to the screen, “But my computer is frozen.”
“For every hour that you find yourself at the computer, you need to do 10 minutes of squatting.” (Squatting, by the way, is a safer variation of what we Baby Boomers called the deep knee bend). “Just take a break and do the squats,” he adds.
“But that’s not my idea of a break,” I say to myself. “Besides, only yesterday I spent 10 straight hours lifting a fine art paint brush while creating art.” Certainly he should understand that I choose to exercise one limb at a time for hours and even weeks on end, possibly years. But I consider his suggestion anyway, try it once (exercise attempt #1), and then—oops—forget about it. I face the fact that I’m highly resistant when it comes to exercise, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it. My computer remains frozen as Andre leaves the room.
That night I secretly sit outside his office door (the same place where he daily grunts and heavy breathes) just to eavesdrop on his client calls. He’s developed some beneficial and very successful programs, including one in which he regularly conducts support calls with his entire client group. Together they Skype-call to “work out” dilemmas in all directions—questions about individual programs, food choices, emotional eating issues, etc. I don’t know who the callers are, and I can’t hear what they’re saying; I can only hear what Andre is saying—“glycemic index,” “net calories” and other scientific/mathematic speak that leaves me dazed.
The next day, I force my guilt-ridden self to go bicycling in the open air but only make it half-way down River Road. My next scheme: dancing to music by flailing my arms and legs around like someone who’s just escaped from the loony bin (exercise attempt #2) exhausts me after only one go. I realize just how badly I need a regular exercise program. I begin with analyzing the difference between Andre and me.
Andre gravitates toward the physical. He exercises, sings and eats. I, on the other hand, generally forgo eating in favor of making art, relish staying indoors as much as possible, and when it does happen, adore sleeping. I must say that all my “activities” require some sort of physical energy. They just utilize different parts of the body in, say, other ways than those who choose to work out vigorously. Maybe we’re not that different after all. I rest easy, knowing that I can always start a program, if needed, when I’m in my 80s. “It’s never too late,” says Andre. In the meantime, I’ll ponder his five top tips on achieving good health.
[American Council on Exercise-certified personal and group trainer Andre Turan can be reached at 845/423-1021.