Originally shared February, 2016

Do you ever feel compelled to try the latest workout trend when you need some exercise motivation, even though you really prefer the exercise you were doing in the 2000s, maybe the 90s, or even (GASP) the 80s?

Me too!

That’s why yesterday I put on my shimmery spandex pants and headband, teased my hair and did Jane Fonda’s aerobic workout from 1989.

I needed some exercise motivation.

On Sunday I watched a MODERN FAMILY episode with my kids. There’s a scene when Jay, the family patriarch, visits his son, Mitch.

Jay: “What’s this box of junk?”
Mitch: “Mom cleaned out her storage unit and thought I may want some of it.”

While Jay’s talking about the junk, he lifts something from the box that made me jump off the couch, throw my arms in the air and shout…

“OH MY GOSH! THAT’S MY JANE FONDA!”

Jay was holding Jane Fonda’s 1989 video, COMPLETE WORKOUT, with the unmistakable (for me anyway) bright yellow background and Jane in her electric blue spandex leotard.

That’s the exercise motivation I needed!

And here’s WHY this video means so much to me.

In January, 1990, I was a 22-year-old single mom with two sons. Travis was 3 and Nick was 8 months. My husband had left me three months earlier saying, “I just don’t want to be here anymore.”

That same month, while at work one day, a police officer called and said, “Your father’s been taken to the hospital by ambulance. Your mom’s here now. Get here asap.”

My dad had a massive heart attack and died. He was 60.

He died at work, and because no one witnessed his death, the LA County coroner kept his body for a week. My mom, sister and I were in ‘holding’ mode. It only took 2 days to buy the casket, cemetery plot, and plan the funeral, so after that we had nothing to do but wait. I found myself needing to keep busy, especially after I found out that my husband was living with his girlfriend…yep, it was all clear now.

Anyway, I don’t remember exactly how I wandered into the store, looking for exercise motivation I guess, but there I was renting a Jane Fonda workout video. At that point I’d never done ANY kind of formal exercise for weight loss. After I put the boys to sleep that night I did my first aerobics class with Jane Fonda in the living room of my second-floor apartment.

I kept working out after the funeral. It’s what I looked forward to all day while I was at work, dealing with my divorce, my mom’s grief, and taking care of two little boys.

Around 10 p.m. every night, it was JANE FONDA time! My time.

Yes, it was a de-stressor and yes I wanted to get rid of those 50 pounds of baby weight, but I think it was the ONE THING I felt control over. It was MY choice to exercise and felt like I’d accomplished something for me. I didn’t understand back then that everything I was doing was a huge accomplishment.

So even when my downstairs neighbors banged on my door one night and shouted,

“Stop jumping your fat ass around the living room,” or even when my soon-to-be ex-husband took a jab with, “Oh I didn’t realize you had knees,” I kept going.

Jane Fonda and her aerobic friends had become my support system and my exercise motivation. I guess every time they shouted, “Come on, you got this,” or “Just one more, you’re almost there,” I heard…

“Nothing’s taken you down yet! You got this MARY!”
“You made it through another day when you thought you couldn’t handle one more. Come on MARY, you can do this!”

So back to current day…

My trampoline popped a spring Saturday morning (have I told you how much I love rebounding?) and I needed a temporary workout.

I took to YouTube looking through videos for exercise motivation and then I heard the voice…LOOK FOR THE JANE FONDA WORKOUT!

Alright, you caught me!

I didn’t really put on spandex pants or a headband (I don’t even own these!) and I didn’t tease my hair. But I had so much fun working out to that “Beverly Hills Cop” style music and doing moves like “the pony.”

And then ALL the emotions and memories came rushing back. But it was okay because I’m okay now.

Better than okay really. I’m at peace with all that happened. I even text or talk with my ex-husband every couple months or so, just to check in.

So guess what workout I’m scheduling into my weekly exercise schedule even though many may consider it outdated or corny?

Yep! I’ve got some dates with JANE FONDA!

What about you? What’s your exercise motivation?

When do you remember having fun with exercise, really looking forward to it?
When do you remember exercise getting you through a tough time?
When do you remember being active with friends or playing a sport you were passionate about?

What were you doing?

Roller-skating or bike riding in the 70s?
Aerobics or hiking in the 80s?
Tae Bo or Kathy Smith videos in the 90s?
ZUMBA or 5Ks in the 2000s?

Here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter what it was.

If you loved it, had fun with it and looked forward to doing it…why not give it another try NOW?

Because if you LOVE IT, you’ll make time for it. It’s YOUR exercise motivation.

Alright now…back to my Amazon search for an electric blue spandex leotard.

Love, light, and grace to you.