To All the Fitness Fads I Loved Before

I admit it. I’m fickle. I can get caught up in exercise fads, buy equipment, and then, after the newness leaves, the new toys sit. I recently tried to get rid of a stationary bike. “Pedal,” as I’d affectionately named her years ago, sat in an upstairs bedroom for over a year without her wheels rotating once. Our relationship had started off passionately enough, but it quickly waned. Hoping to get those sparks back, I bought a DVD that showed the gorgeous Irish countryside so, as I pedaled, I could forget I was sitting inside cranking away on a stationary bike.

Alas, the DVD didn’t work. Apathy set in stronger than ever.  To soothe my spirit, I youtubed Julio Iglesias singing “To All the Girls I Loved Before.”  I listened again, focusing in on one stanza in particular.

The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I try to stay
The winds of change continue blowing
And they just carry me away.

The song was an inspiration. It was time to make a clean break. My husband and I loaded the heavy bike into the back of our vehicle, not an easy task, and drove to our local St. Vincent’s. They wouldn’t take her. For a brief moment I remembered how it had felt to be the last one picked for playground baseball teams, and felt a twinge of pity for Pedal, but it was short lived. I lusted after the space I now had with the bike out of the guest bedroom. Still, I wasn’t heartless. I didn’t want to just dump Pedal and run.

“Free.” I taped the sign to Pedal’s back and set her in a prominent position near the driveway. Looking pathetic, she sat. And sat. And sat.

Desperate to find her a home, I started harassing people, beginning with the carpet cleaner. “Would you like a stationary bike? It’s practically new.”

“No,” he replied, “I already have one that we never use.”

I called friends, but like gardeners with armfuls of zucchini in August, I couldn’t find any takers.

Meanwhile, I unearthed more unloved exercise equipment: a weighted vest that’s supposed to combat osteopenia that I rarely used, various hand weights that I rarely used, and old VHS aerobic workout tapes. As I looked at the dusty covers with popular exercise promoters like Jane Fonda and Denise Austin, I recalled fantasies that if I only did the exercises, I could look like these women. I wanted to break out in song. “To all the tapes I once caressed, And may I say I’ve worked out with the best …”

Meanwhile, poor Pedal still sat alone near the driveway. Maybe I could start a dating service for exercise equipment. I’d submit the first ad. “Single stationary bike looking for love. Preference given to those with soft cheeks.”

Then, one fated day, my husband and I happened to talk to the director of Easter Seals. “Could you use an exercise bike at your Respite Center?”


My husband and I held our breaths.

“Yes, I think we have just the spot.”


We didn’t waste any time. We hauled Pedal over and set her in a prominent spot in the large gym.

I gave her a pat on the seat.  Pedal, you“travelled in and out my door. You live within my heart, you’ll always be a part, of all the fads I’ve loved before.”

I walked away smiling and singing.

To all the fads I've loved before
Who travelled in and out my door
I'm glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the fads I've loved before.

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