Macho Man

When I attended my first Exercise the Back class at the YMCA last week I was a little taken aback to discover I was the only man in a class of 20.

It didn’t help that I couldn’t keep up with many of the women on some of the exercises, and not only the exercises that relied on “dance moves.” Of course, I told myself that women are just plain more limber than men, but that still didn’t explain why they could do more side leg lifts than I could.

I doubted I would return to the class when I left, even though all the class members were friendly and helpful.

It wasn’t until the next day I decided that I needed to return. What really convinced me — beyond my initial realization that I need to do everything I can to strengthen my back to avoid surgery — was that the next day I had sore muscles I didn’t even know I had. The class was working muscles I have neglected in my other exercises. And if those muscles are the ones a back class is targeting, I’d better pay attention to them.

Though I’m also looking forward to doing some weight lifting, I think I’ll make this class the foundation of my exercise program.