The Exercise Sisters

“You should do a class for middle age women,” she said. “No jumping, but strength and balance training, you know? I bet there is a big market for that.”

Why not? I’m certified in Silver Sneakers after all.

And this is how it began.

A few ladies, maybe 6 or seven, gathered together in my basement gym. Some knew me, some knew each other, some were mothers of friends, or friend of a friend… We introduced ourselves, smiled some polite smiles, sat on our exercise balls and worked on balance, and strength, and fun cardio. Someone said something funny and we all laughed. It felt good to be surrounded by women in the same stage of life, with little aches and pains but a great attitude.

The weeks turned into months, and the months into years. The exercises got tougher because the ladies got stronger, and the group grew in numbers. The new ones start out shy, not quite sure where they stand. As as they see themselves welcome into the fold, they bloom like beautiful flowers.

We learned about each other’s families, and we began to care. The one who owned a farm brought us all some cabbages. We noticed when someone was missing, and inquired why. We made a goofy video to send to one of us who was out of commission for a while. Our twins kept us laughing and our “counter” kept us on our toes. We cheered as one of us got back into the dating game and met her bus driver as we called him, but assured her he would have to pass the exercise sisters test. As it turned out, things changed before it got to that. All along, we sweated and got fitter, strengthening our hearts on every level. Some of us fit into smaller pants and that is big celebration time! Others find themselves able to reach on the bottom shelf at the grocery store for the first time in months. We love to share in each other’s victories.

And over the years, we somehow became sisters–a haven for each other. A husband died and we loved her through it. A daughter was diagnosed with cancer and we looked for ways to be there for her. A dad passed away and we cried with our sweet twins.  And we laughed as they shared memories.

We had a first Christmas potluck where we giggled like school girls, wearing Santa hats. We actually had our very own butler. One of them even knitted me a gorgeous hat and scarf. Then we added a pool party in the summer, where we took time to get to know each other even better.


The exercises got tougher still as we became stronger, and we modified when necessary.  As we each learned to accept ourselves with all of our limitations,  we found ourselves accepting each other just as we are, the good, the bad and the ugly. We know who in our midst is the one who will complain most, and who will make us laugh, and who will cheat the most. And we know that we can count on each other; each sweat session reminds us that we are loved and cared for.

That’s a Buy-One-Get-One-Free if I ever saw one. That is group therapy at its best.

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 Home,SDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing Home,Play Dates with God, Monday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s Story, Into the Word, In and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays,Extraordinay,Lessons from Ivy,Denise in Bloom, Sweet Blessings, Faith Filled Friday,Finding Joy,WholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word, Reclaiming a Redeemed Life, Still Saturday. Wildcrafting Wednesdays, WFMW





  1. So very well said. God definitely knew what He was doing when He assembled the Exercise Sisters. I shall be forever grateful for Barbara, her wisdom, her insight in knowing when to push us, and for her butler!


  2. wow, that’s a beautiful story! It’s church! You’re doing church! I love this. Thanks for sharing. Imagine the blessings you would have missed if you said no because you didn’t think you were qualified or had the time, or whatever.


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