Meet our writers

Win $1,000







Nostalgia May 2017

Leslie Goes Boom

From Bright White to Neon – Sweating It Out In Fashion

By Leslie Handler

We had to wear a bright white, no-stretch cotton, one-piece jumpsuit with legs that came down to mid-thigh. The outfit snapped up the front. Then we’d go out and play kick ball, come back all sweaty, and have to put our street clothes back on in five minutes to get to the next class. No wonder so many kids learned to hate exercise!

I’m a 20-year cancer survivor. By that, I mean that I have survived recurring cancers on a regular basis for 20 years. Nonetheless, I’ve prided myself on staying as healthy as I possibly can. I’ve always worked out in some form or another. Recently, I took up running for the first time. I worked my way up from running for one minute at a time to running my first 5K race. Last June, I ran my first 10K in Central Park with my daughter. The exercise was invigorating and the sense of accomplishment was wonderful. I was the only person I knew who had to wear a pain patch that would still work through a good long run.

Unfortunately, shortly after that 10K, I began to experience some pain I’d never had before. I ended up having a herniated disc that required back surgery. I guess there will be no more running for me.

Being a lifelong exerciser made me start thinking about my life experiences with exercise. It made me think of the gym uniforms they used to make us wear in school. Does anyone else remember those? We had to wear a bright white, no-stretch cotton, one-piece jumpsuit with legs that came down to mid-thigh. The outfit snapped up the front. Then we’d go out and play kick ball, come back all sweaty, and have to put our street clothes back on in five minutes to get to the next class. No wonder so many kids learned to hate exercise!

Soon after I finished school the Jazzercise craze began. This was an effort to make exercise seem like a dance party. For some of us, it stuck and actually worked to make us exercise with Jane Fonda leading the way. The fashion was a body leotard with an off-one-shoulder t-shirt, and a pony tail.

Then step aerobics came along. You could do this by yourself in the privacy of your own home with a video tape, or you could take a group class. This is about the time that lots of personal trainers showed up on the scene. They each had their own videos to sell us to keep us company while we sweated. This was the time we banned the off-one-shoulder t-shirt in favor of tight fitting capris and cross trainers shoes.

Zoomba was the next craze. Video tapes went by the wayside, and DVDs were all the rage. Fashion for Zoomba was of the utmost importance. Bright, neon-colored clothing was the style with loose fitting pants and matching t-shirts. Today, it seems we have more choices than ever. We can download anything anytime and are offered pilates, yoga, kickboxing, circuit training, barre, and more.

As one who truly enjoys exercise, the choices seem endless. Choosing the right exercise can be an overwhelming task. Sometimes I wonder if I wasn’t better off with a simple gym uniform and a kick ball…oh, the good old days.

 

"I’ve fallen and I CAN get up are the words I live by because when I fall and go BOOM, I always get back up."

Meet Leslie