How I'm Doing It

Readers share their amazing personal health and wellness transformations. Read their stories to be inspired — and feel free to share your own!  

Posts by Barbie Laughlin

Experience Life Magazine

Biking With Buddha

As a fifty-something widow, I joined the Plymouth  Life Time Fitness club in 2005 hoping to meet other active folks my  age. A few weeks later I was introduced to Craig,  a LifeTime Legacy member and regular at the Plymouth club. Having been told by our mutual friends that  I wasn’t ready for a “real date,” he asked me to swim laps with him at the  club.

The rest, as they say, is  history. In addition to swimming, we  started attending fitness yoga, nutrition, spin, Pilates, CRT, and other  classes. Within a year we were married,  and ever since have supported each other to stay in shape and to hit our  monthly goal of twelve club visits.

When friends invited us to bicycle Northern Thailand with  them, we were excited to “give it a spin,” so to speak. We began attending Tiffany Berenberg’s spin  classes, and I did the Ride of a Lifetime event in St. Paul,  Minn. We felt ready.

Our first day was a grueling eight hour ride from Chaing  Mai to Chaing Dao. It was hot, and at the top of a particularly steep hill I  began to second guess my conclusion that weekly spin classes had been enough.

Tiffany’s words kept ringing in my  head: “Shoulders down, elbows in, core engaged, use the balls of your feet,  push, push, push.” So I kept pushing on the balls of my feet and soon enough  we made it to our first night’s lodging.  We stayed in a small cabin in the middle of the forest, had a hot  shower, and were delighted to be served a gourmet meal at dinner! Life was good again.

Over the next eight days we covered over 320 miles of  beautiful countryside, visited the northern most point in Thailand, and made a  three hour visit to Burma before heading back to Chaing Mai.

The photo was taken at one of the many Buddhist Temples  we saw. I am proudly wearing my Lifetime spin shirt, as well as the headband I  purchased in the Spa Salon at the Plymouth club.

Craig and I plan to continue our commitment to fitness,  and to stay in shape for our next adventure.