United we stand. Divided we fall. We're tighter than pantyhose two sizes small!
Recently, I almost joined a workout center where sweet young things were sporting thonga-majigs that barely covered their thingamajigs. For fifteen whole minutes I gawked, feeling years older than I am. Working their pecs and abs like NFL linebackers, they did push-ups, pull-ups and jogged in place, all while texting their BFF's.
It was a workout center that boasted programs promising to make me live a few years longer, so joining up was compelling, but I decided I would rather eat dirt. I am happier taking walks each morning with women my own age and physical abilities, where conversation is just as important as deep stretches.
We walk in a cemetery (as if we're marking territory), and nobody there cares that we all collect Social Security or wear baggy sweats instead of thongs. The graveyard is flat making our walks easier than on a hill. Upshot: we don't need to know CPR.
It's also nice to know that if and when any of us has to remain at the cemetery permanently, the sister would still be nearby, if only in spirit. Not wanting her to miss any gossip, we would make it a point to speak in very loud voices.
Because I work alone at my computer most days, the early morning strolls (notice I didn't say power walks) are my way of socializing. Over time, my friends and I have shared searing social commentary, movie and theater reviews, recipes, family shenanigans, not to mention some first-rate group therapy.
Frances is our pack leader. She is the quiet one and the most constant. I don't look forward to her wakeup call at 7 a.m. each morning, but I can depend on it. By eight o'clock I am perched on the front seat of her golf cart tooling toward Reebok Ridge or Boot Hill, as the case may be.
Talley is the gracious one, energetic and determined to work out all of the body kinks she collected over the years. Dressed to the nines, she huffs and puffs along with the rest of us, and then she line dances. Talley makes me feel like I'm missing out on something.
Sweet Altha has a smile that simply won't go away, and when she is not walking with us, a large hole is created by her absence.
Gloria adores garden parties, people and dogs. She's forever hatching projects and loves sharing ideas with us.
Paula gifts us with great stock tips when she is not in Florida. Hey Paula, has my ship come in yet?
Betty's knee replacement motivated her to use her feet instead of wheels, so now she roams around like a little bear just out of hibernation. She makes me tired.
We try to avoid political or religious topics on our walks, and most of the time we succeed. A spirited discussion on local happenings or current affairs, however, is not totally off track. We are apt to discuss arthritis medications more often than up-to-the-minute fashions, however, but news of a better-designed walking shoe can be a real conversation grabber.
Should the talk ever turn morbid, we need only to glance at the tombstones and the subject will quickly change. Like the ebb and flow of life itself, lively conversation is what fuels our pace.
Men are not so dim-witted as to try joining our sassy little group. They know that the eight o'clock walks each morning have more to do with companionship, support and sisterhood than sweaty exercise.
My women friends offer me compassion when needed and pats on the back when deserved. They don't give a hoot that I wouldn't be caught dead in a thong, even after I become a permanent Boneyard resident and it is my spirit that rises at eight o'clock every morning to walk with my friends.
Sisters By Choice
Sisterhood, sisterhood Calling others to walk
And come together Where each one can talk
About what is going on In different parts of the world
Sharing tales with each other Of when we were a girl
Now, speaking as a woman Sometimes loud is good
When we come together As a sisterhood should
Inviting other sisters Each talking from the heart
A sisterhood grows in strength When each sister shares a part
Of a special woman circle Creating a strong bond
Bringing together many Where all become one.
© 2007 Maggie Lee Scott