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     Wish me well—I'm off to my first kick-start. Not a motorcycle, darn. I always wished I was brave enough to hop on a motorcycle and zoom over winding mountain roads, my hair flying out behind me. Not a lawn mower, either, and definitely not a speedboat. Nope. This is my body about to be kick-started.

     It's all Paul's fault. I've been taking him to the Y since January for sessions in the pool with Dean and in the gym with Micah as he slowly recovers from neck surgery. All was fine until Micah suggested I use the equipment while he was working with Paul. Not long after, I saw Paul's vastly improved blood test results.

     What's a mom to do? If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander, right? First off, I haf'ta tell you, I am not a gym rat. Never have been. But I signed up at the Y, fingers crossed. With membership, you get three kick-start sessions. My first is this afternoon. I'm a little excited and a whole lot curious. Tell you about it soon. . .

     Okay. I've been kicked. I mean started. Or whatever... Trim, shapely Linda took me to the treadmill. A chart on the machine displayed low green blocks alternating with tall green blocks—resting periods alternating with not-resting periods. Suffice it to say, I survived the treadmill and lived on to be taken to the ball.

     Not that kind of ball. A large round chartreuse ball with bumps on it. I was supposed to sit on it. Cautiously I lowered myself. Yay! I was sitting on the ball and the ball wasn't rolling away. If only that had been the end of it. But no. Linda told me to walk my feet forward, away from the ball. My feet obeyed—but how could I stay on the ball while my feet were walking away from it? It was close but somehow my rear-end stayed connected to the rubbery surface of the ball.

     Time for crunches. Half-sitting against the ball, hands behind my head, I tried to crunch my abdomen, stomach and all related muscles. Linda said I was doing well. I wasn't so sure, but I kept going: crunch, crunch, crunch.

     So far, so good. Linda told me to walk my feet back toward the ball. I started to move my feet toward the ball. Two steps backward and for sure that ball was going to roll right out from under me. I flailed around, afraid to move my feet. Linda to the rescue! She reminded me I should be sitting in an upright position. I raised my head and back up to where they were supposed to be and continued stepping backward until...

     Ohmigosh! I'm sitting on top of the world! The ball, I mean. I couldn't believe it! Almost more exciting than a motorcycle ride. We went from there to mats on the floor to stretch those lazy muscles; then to a hidden-away room dedicated to more muscle-stretching.

     Linda got on a contraption next to the far wall and demonstrated a few muscle stretches. Then it was my turn. No problem. Only three levers to keep track of, a seat to sit on, and a flat pad to rest my leg on.

     I stretched out my leg, released one lever and pulled back on another until my leg on the pad was straight up in the air, then I locked it in place—the contraption. Hold forever. Repeat with the other leg. Hold forever. Cross one leg over the other; raise crossed legs up in the air. Hold forever.

     See you next week.

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