Alicia Cervantes

Alicia Cervantes

What? A 10-week fitness challenge, a one-hour class four times a week? Where? Minneapolis.

Now why does my friend think I can commitment that much time – approximately eight hours a week, (have to include the travel time to that city far away across the river) to go sweat with a bunch of people I don’t even know?

Did my dear friend forget that I am a full-time caregiver to both my parents? To my mother, who had a massive stroke seven years ago, and to my father who is still very active but now requires more of my help managing his care and daily activities. If she doesn’t remember that, she most definitely forgot that I have a husband, a millennial daughter, a new 13-week-old kitten, and plenty of shows recorded on my DVR that I need to watch.

Well, let me tell you some of the things my friend didn’t forget. She didn’t forget that family is very important to me and that I left my favorite bookkeeping job after eight years to have the time to take care of my aging parents. Nor did she forget the stroke my husband had just over seven months ago or how proud I am of my daughter for all the things she has accomplished in her young 24 year old life.

But the most important thing my friend didn’t forget was me, because I forgot about me.

I forgot that I am just as likely to suffer from a stroke or heart attack as my parents or husband. I forgot that I need to take care of myself with as much love and care as I take care of my family. I forgot that if I don’t take care of me, who is going to take care of my family?

I am thankful for my friend – the friend that faithfully picks me up four times a week at 5:30 a.m. and drives to Minneapolis, that city far away across the river, to sweat with a bunch of people I hardly know.

I am one of 25 people or so that arrive just before 6 a.m. at the Cory McCorvey YMCA. We gather and the front door and chit chat while we wait for “Miss Myrtle” to unlock the door. After we all sign in at the front desk we start warming up on the stationary bikes, chit chatting some more. The coaches are setting up the sound system in the room to give us an intense cardio and muscle toning workout for about 45 minutes, which is then followed by the very welcomed cool down session. My friend and I waste no time putting our equipment away, we say our good byes, and rush to the car to get back to St. Paul – that city far away across the river.

We are officially at the midpoint of the 10-week summer session of the Insight 2 Health Fitness Challenge. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed the last 15 wonderfully rewarding and grueling work out sessions and can’t wait to enjoy the next 15 sessions, sweating with people I am getting to know better.

During the second half of the Insight 2 Health Fitness Challenge I will be trying out some of the recipes that can be found on the Wedge Community Co-op’s website. I can’t wait to share my thoughts on what it took to prepare them and of course on how each recipe tastes.

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