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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-06-22 - 6:40 p.m.

No Pain, No Gain

by Joan Callaway

I live just a couple of blocks from Bev of http://www.funnytheworld.com , but for some strange reason we had never met. I had read in the Davis Enterprise her reviews of dramatic productions in our town over the years and I suppose she may have come into my store from time to time, but I had never put a face with the name. One day a mutual friend said, "Joan, you should get to know Bev...and you should read her journal." So I logged on, read that day's entry.

I found her amusing and amazingly forthright for a public journal. I read a few entries and then moved to her bio with increasing interest and incredulity. Although she is ten years younger than I, we have in many instances led parallel lives. We have both not only been legal secretaries, but to the same man. It's possible we may have worked for him at the same time, although I'm not certain of that. We've both been medical transcriptionists - she still does that part time at home. We both took cooking classes from Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook when he was a student at U.C. Davis -- perhaps in the same class. Who knew? We both would like to drop more than a few pounds and have counted points with mediocre success. Last and probably foremost is that we have both experienced great loss in our families, I discovered as I read about her sons in her journal. I started responding occasionally to her journal and we became acqainted. Funny the world!

Bev wrote today in her journal that I am her conscience. It's not really my intention, but it seems to just work out like that. About a year and a half ago, after having both knees replaced and a couple of foot surgeries, my doctor referred me to a small, somewhat run-down little physical therapy office with a gym I could graduate to do on my own. I probably never would have gone to a REAL gym because of all those terribly fit sweet young things. I'd have been too self-conscious. But at this gym, there were just a bunch of old farts, rehabilitating knees, hips, and shoulders, treading on old mills, sharing the one semi-recumbent bike (which was what I needed most), and a variety of upper and lower body machines - all pretty well used.

I called Bev. "Hey, Bev, you should join us." She waffled. She worried about what she would wear. But eventually, she showed up and she became a pre-breakfast regular, increasing the weights and reps on the machines and more and more minutes on the bike and treadmill.

Not being the only conscience, apparently, another of her friends suggested they each buy a REAL bike and go for Saturday bike rides together. What a concept! They did it...and all of the paraphernelia an avid sports participant invests in, also. And then I think she even bought a second faster model...and unfortunately, just as she was dropping pounds, increasing her stamina, her ability to go up and down hills, when competing in a race, she took a spill and sustained an injury, which caused quite a set-back. She was no longer able to ride her bike or go to the gym.

I stopped going to the gym about the same time for entirely different reasons. Partly because that little gym closed, while the physical therapist built and equipped a new one, but to be honest, mostly lazy, I used the excuse that I'd ride the snazzy semi-recumbent bike my daughter bought for me. However, I got weaker and weaker, limping more and more, and my balance so tentative I quit driving. My doctor daughter urged me to go to physical therapy again to work on my balance.

The new gym was opened. Not quite the same feel as the old one, but lots of helpful staff and I really liked my new therapist. My husband drove me and worked out, while I had therapy. I wobbled on the wobble board, balanced on the balance board and regained my balance, miraculously.

One day my husband couldn't take me on my day. I thought, "Why don't I ask Bev if she would drive me...maybe she'll be inspired to join again." Walt had their car, so she walked down and drove me in my car. She enjoyed the trial work-out and decided that she she got back from vacation, she'd try to talk Walt into a couple membership. Sure enough...they joined, but she had yet to take advantage of it.

So today...during our on-line Scrabble competition, I casually asked, "Bev, would you happen to be going to the gym today...and if you are, could I ride along."

She probably was embarrassed to admit to me that she hadn't been going, so wrote back, "How about 10 a.m.?" She'd already been walking with her new dog, Sheila, but she was game - arrived just a bit late because she was making one last Scrabble move. And, of course, I was a bit late, because I had to rejoin!

When we got there, I quickly asked my favorite personal trainer if he would show Bev around, pointing out the machines that wouldn't hurt her shoulder, which is still recuperating. He gave her a good work-out. We ended up turning in our sweaty towels at the same time, huffing and puffing. No pain, no gain!

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