Oh President’s Physical Fitness Badge, how you eluded me throughout my formative years. Each year, taunting me with your requirements to climb and run fast. Well, have I got some updates for you Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. I am a grown woman triathlete who performs aerial stunts in between. So please, mail me a badge. If there’s still money in the budget for one. If not, an email will suffice.

Seriously though, triathlons and aerial arts have given me much. Here’s some of the perks: A. The physique. Take the swimming required.  So as not to inhale kid pee and/or minnows, mastering this event is essential.  And the definition it produces in the form of a sleek, lean figure is rewarding. I promise. Watch any swimming event, anywhere. You’ll agree.

left to right: Karen Proper, Jennifer Curry, Debby Siegel, Dawnya Gebhard, Julie Ellis, Jayda Armstrong, and Deb Puricelli.
B. Fitness without walls. Biking is just plain sweet. Thank you DaVinci for your cog and wheel inventions that led us to evolve from bipedals to bi-pedalers. I love the wind in my helmet. Live for the sunrises on weekends. And can not imagine how different my existence would be sans cycling. The number of places I have witnessed all over St. Louis on this machine – places I would otherwise never be privy to – has been motivating me to try new rides and new groups since I began. Biking is my mecca.  Oh, and the running… yeah, well, it’s the easiest equipment-wise. That’s all I’ve got for that. I kid. Endorphins are out there. Go get ‘em.
C. The best… Friendships. Training with friends is more productive. And cheering them on will have ripple effects on your happiness. I have tri sisters who I will still be racing with into the 85-89 age group. I know it.  They’re true.
Now, as for aerial acrobatics…

this is definitely badge-worthy. Attending an aerial fitness class at Bumbershoot for about a month now, I have an elevated respect for Pink over any other performing artist ever. (Plus, you can listen to her while running to make it more fun!) I wonder if she got President’s badge? Anyway, this stuff is amazing. Parts of my body have taught me of their existence, merely from their announcement of soreness when, say, I brush my teeth or open a door!  And I really can’t wait to water ski the next time, cuz I am not dropping baby. These Popeye muscles are groomed.



Amanda Jokerst, is an extremely talented aerial artist. We are training at Bumbershoot Aerial Arts

I seriously recommend dropping in an aerial class and discovering a new level of fit. It will put you in touch with youthful moments. Whether warming up with skipping forward and backward across the padded floor, trying for height; swinging from a trapeze bar, hanging upside down; or climbing silks, there are many moments in which to connect with that carefree kid in you through aerial arts.  Even if that kid never achieved a Physical Fitness Badge.

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