Brenda Winter

Luverne Area Aquatics and Day Spa Center thwarts attempts to avoid excercise

The Northview

I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid exercise and I think I’ve been fairly successful. 

The time that so many of you have spent running, walking, biking and hiking, I’ve spent trying to avoid exercise. I may have burned nearly the same number of calories.

One of my favorite exercise memories is the time in high school my sister and I were going to “run around the section.” (That’s four miles of county road for you townies.)

She ran around the section. 

I made it to the mailbox.

But I’d like to point out our farm had a rather long driveway, so it’s not like I didn’t try.

Fast forward to my 50th year and I was still doing a pretty good job of avoiding exercise. My husband and I had moved to town and, for exercise, began taking strolls through the park like older folks take. We threw in an occasional bike ride.

Then in 2016 came cancer and the pelvic radiation I endured to treat it. Long story short — I now have swelling in my legs called lymphedema. Lymph nodes damaged by radiation stop working effectively and lymph fluid builds up in limbs. 

The ironic twist? One of the best treatments is exercise.

An even more ironic twist is that my legs swell more after walking. Running is absolutely out of the question along with all other movements that include jarring or pounding.

But I needed to exercise or watch my legs swell like party balloons.

Which brought me to the Luverne Area Aquatics and Fitness center a few months ago. I overlooked the word “fitness” in the name and began doing the water-walking portion of the daily “lap swimming and water walking” option.

And I love it.

The pool has become my day spa. Tall south windows flood the room with light; rays of sun dance across clear, sparkling water. Through squinting eyes, the white piles of snow outside look like the white sandy beaches of Bora Bora. (I said “squinting eyes.”)

No matter the conditions outside, the water is always warm. The pool is spotless. 

The staff is welcoming.

Music plays over the loud speakers.

As the weeks have passed, the swelling in my legs is subsiding a bit and instead of avoiding exercise, I look forward to it.

Who would have guessed?

So I’d like to say, “Thanks, Luverne Area Aquatics and Day Spa Center for giving me the will to avoid exercise.”

My legs and I appreciate it. 


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