In a previous post, I compared my daughter, Vivian, to Tigger. Like Pooh’s psychotic sidekick, Vivian does not so much sit as vibrate. She even moves when she sleeps, kicking imaginary bandits and wrestling with blankets.
But now she’s sick. Not seriously ill, but sick nonetheless, either with a nasty flu, an ear infection or walking pneumonia. There’s been no clear, single diagnosis, but she’s battled a flu-like illness for 10 days now with on-and-off fevers, which –until lately– were creeping up the mercury. Antibiotics seem to be sorting it all out.
On one of her worst days, I came home early. I found my husband (who was also sick) asleep, and I found Vivian watching PBS. The morning cartoons, however, had ended, and the programming had changed to target more of an elderly audience. Vivian was undeterred by this demographic shift. Not only was she perched on the end of our bed rapt in the latest episode of Sit and Be Fit, but her pale self was copying all the movements, from calf raises to chair-walking (which incidentally did not involve self-propelling furniture across the room).
Vivian gladly tolerated the workout soundtrack that included Vivaldi and Yanni. When the instructor and her three cheerful but un-miked Supremes progressed to adding props, I became Vivian’s trainer. Off to the bathroom I jogged to get her a hand towel, so she could grasp each end with her hands, lift it above her head like a banner, and perform modified tricep extensions. Later, when I had abandoned Vivian, she yelled, “Mom, I need my runners. Now!” Evidently chair aerobics require proper footwear.
Yes, our sick daughter, Tigger incarnate, was ill and was exercising. The instructors and her gang were also exercising. And me? I was grabbing the camera and my notebook to record the moment.
Maybe next year I’ll exercise. Or maybe tomorrow I’ll just pull up my chair and join these women who are way more active than me.