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The Gold’s Gym in central Florida where I was training at the time was one of my favorites. It became special to me, as well, because it was my first time training with a lady of seventy six years… my Mother-In-Law.

She is a spirited and adventurous soul. She speaks a little English, I speak a little Spanish. Of course, before we decided to embark on this exercise/linguistic experiment, I confirmed her state of overall good health. She, in fact, amazed me with her ability to begin a journey to the United States from Sweden, travel for twenty four hours on trains, planes and automobiles, and look beautiful and be positive until retiring for the night in her bed in our home.

I was not worried about her being intimidated by what might be encountered at the gym, and neither was she. What happened in the days and weeks that followed amazed me… and her.

The main focus she shared with me (through the interpreted discussion before we started) was concerning the use of her shoulders and arms. Her diminishing strength and ability to reach overhead saddened her. She was somewhat depressed, as well, because she had been diagnosed with osteoporosis and, of course, felt intimidated by it.

The first day was simply getting a feel for what was there. She watched, I demonstrated. She learned quickly and joyfully. After seeing me do seated close-grip pull-downs, she was anxious to try.

Cuidate (be careful)… Suavemente (smoothly)… Ay dolor? (is there any pain?)

These are the words I spoke most frequently. But always upon hearing “muy bien” (very good), Mom got the biggest smile on her face! At that point, I knew she was hooked.

My normal routine was three days a week, one day resting between workouts. After three weeks of gradual but noticeable increases in strength and range of motion, Mom insisted on going every day that she didn’t have something special happening!

Mom is in her eighties now and no longer has the stamina and confidence to do battle at the airports. We no longer are able to train together. During my years of working out, I’ve had the opportunity to train together with some accomplished athletes.

It all pales in comparison to the joy of saying, “Muy Muy Bien, Mamita.”

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven Siemons

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