“You will love Kathy Smith. She has a great workout video,” said my oldest daughter, when I expressed an interest in the benefits of lifting weights to keep fit and toned. It is just recently I noticed that creepy tricep droop getting droopier and decided I should consult with an expert. Ok, at my age, lots of things are moving south, but I am choosing to pay attention only to the despicable underarm flab at the moment. I’ve noticed over the past several years that Katie loves to mix things up with her exercise routine. She seems to have kept it interesting with yoga, kick boxing, jogging, adventure racing, workout videos and even some kinda workout program with “combat” in its title, which actually sounds sorta scary to me. Oh, and the girl … she doesn’t just leisurely walk her pooch, Abby. Katie power walks the dog. She is so “into” working out, I’m absolutely certain there is no space left to shove into her brain any of those happy endorphins people get from exercising. “I’ll never forget when Katie met me in Spain when I was studying abroad. Everywhere we went she was pumping her arms like we were on a power walk,” her brother told me one time with a snicker.   Geez, and I thought power walking anywhere with Ricky was a necessity. The dude is about a foot taller than his big sister, with most of his height in his legs. I walk three steps.  Ricky walks one step. That kind of thing. However, I did have sympathy for the guy. Had a similar experience when Katie and I went to New York City last year. The girl is a taskmaster to keep up with. During a particularly grueling day of walking the city, I seriously considered sitting in the middle of sidewalk to see if she would notice we needed a break. She did. Now not only did Katie bring over her Kathy Smith workout video, but she also graciously supplied her mom with a variety of weights. I was gonna start out with a couple of Campbell Soup cans and work my way up to stewed tomatoes, but obviously that got nixed. I could tell immediately the lightest, the 3-pounders, were going to be my best friend and shoved the heavy fivers discreetly under the coffee table. “Now this video is not going to make me have huge biceps, is it?” I queried, with a bead of worried sweat steaming down my right brow during Kathy Smith’s five-minute warm-up section of the video. Actually, my biceps were not the issue. Nope. But to me … they are a little too huge. Not Arnold, the Governor of California and Terminator huge exactly. Maybe large is a better description. I got my large “guns” honestly from lifting Mimi, our special needs daughter all these years. My chief concern was adding any additional inch age. Katie assured me that I didn’t have to skip Kathy Smith’s bicep exercises. Since I had elected her my supreme fitness guru, I had to bow at the waist to her wisdom. Trust is an important thing with a trainer, even if you are not smiling at the time the wisdom is handed down. The nice thing about a trainer is they let you know when your form is not quite up to par. “Mom, you have to straighten your body out when you do push-ups. And don’t forget to breathe when you lift the weights,” Katie directed me several times during the video workout. No one told me there would be evil push-ups involved when we started. I don’t think I’ve done a single one since high school gym class. At least the “girlie kind” were sanctioned by Kathy Smith and there weren’t too many. We do the workout together when Katie comes over most Sundays. I think it was last week that Katie scooped up the 3- pound weights and locked them in the trunk of her car. She let me keep the fivers and brought a couple of 7-pounders. I wasn’t too happy about that, but like the famous lyrics of a Gloria Gaynor song … “I will survive.” This Saturday the two of us will participate in the Breast Cancer Walk downtown. It’s for a great cause and lots of fun. Yep, it seems the daughter/personal trainer is looking out for her mom. I just hope she lets me keep the 5-pound weights for just a few more weeks. Dixie Frantz is a long time Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

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