I grew up on 18 acres, nearly 20 miles from my school and friend's houses. My parents both worked full time and by the time I was about 11 or 12 years old I was often left home alone. Besides taking care of the animals there just wasn't much to do. We didn't have cable television. My options were either to watch Wayne's World or Pretty Woman over and over again or workout to my Mom's Buns of Steel videos.
When I would do the workout videos I realized my mood changed. I felt happier and not as bored and lonely. Eventually, I didn't want to eat the frozen Mama Celeste pizzas you had to microwave on top of the box, or the hot pockets, or even the lean cuisine meals for lunch. I started asking my Mom to get healthier food and I began making my own meals.
When I was 14 my parents joined the local gym. Since I wasn't 16 yet I couldn't get a membership, but the membership counselor, a guy in 60's named Pete who looked like he could be Fonzie's Dad would let me walk on the treadmill or ride the bike while my parents worked out. There was one instructor who let me take her class every Tuesday and Thursday evening. We would do aerobics, lift dumbbells, do push-ups, and jump rope. I looked forward to that class every week.
By the time I was 16 and could drive and get a job I applied to work front desk at a premier gym in Annapolis. Honestly, I just wanted a free membership so I could workout. During slow hours I would absorb the health and fitness magazines and books. I was able to try all the different classes on the schedule. I would workout with weights reading the instructions and studying the anatomy photos. I wanted to know everything I could and the only way to do that was to practice. I would ask the trainers a gazillion questions.
One day I said to the fitness manager, "I have used all the machines in here, what should I do now?"
"You should probably go home," he said.
"Okay, but I'll be back tomorrow!"