A Lesson From June

Cynthia Oredugba, is open to learning what beauty is all about

Cynthia Oredugba, is open to learning what beauty is all about

Today I just wanted to lounge in bed.  Actually every morning I have to be a leader to myself in order to get my day started with exercise.  Today was no exception.  Finally, after much debating why I should or should not go to my yoga class,
I propelled myself into forward motion and went. Yeah!

There is a beautiful woman named June who works out at my gym every day.  When I go at 8:00 a.m., she’s there.  June is always well groomed with a touch of lipstick, delicate earrings, and a twinkle in her eyes.  I fascinate myself with observing her commitment to her daily workout.  I assume it’s daily because whenever I’m at the gym, she’s there.

Today I was compelled to speak with her after class.  I told her how beautiful she was and what an inspiration she has been to me when I go to the gym and see her all ready for her workout – two days it’s yoga, two days weights and cardiovascular, and one day pilates.  She said everyday she has to talk herself into going, but knows that when she finishes, she feels good. That is what motivates her.

I asked her if I could ask a personal question.  She said yes.  I then asked her age.  In Los Angeles no one wants to tell their age.  She had no such reservations. She replied that she was 95 and will be 96 in June.

After my talk with June, I walked home designing a new approach to beginning my day. I’d like all of you to do the same. Let’s think about making a commitment to ourselves to feel good every day by doing the things that are good for us. Let’s take on June’s approach: a twinkle in our eyes and a commitment to give ourselves a workout (or whatever it is that empowers us) that lets our bodies and minds know we care. How can you take some of June’s actions to bring fulfillment and thereby bring beauty into your life? Who knows…you may be 96 going to the gym having someone writing about you.

By the way, June does every posture in yoga and pilates and all of the exercises in the cardio class.  She has designed modifications for her workouts so that she does not injure herself.  She is not there to show off or compete but to honor herself by giving her body and mind the fuel that they need for the day.

Please post a comment and let me know how June has added to your beauty. I will be sure to tell her when I see her at the gym.

  • Pat Tallman

    I have to motivate myself every day to get to my work out no matter what it is. Some periods it’s not a problem but I have stretches of time when it’s REALLY hard. I go because it makes me feel more confident. Being stronger makes me feel safer, and fitting into my clothes makes me feel pretty. June is my Mother’s name. If she was still alive, I know she’d be in her fitness classes too. She love the community as much as the work out. Thank you for this lovely reminder and validation.

  • Vivian Tinsley

    Inspiring story! 95 years young! I’m sure her commitment to exercise has impacted her longevity and well being. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Vivian Tinsley

  • denise

    this story made me think of my 99 year old grandmother who has lived alone taking care of everything with grace, dignity and satisfaction. oh to be 99 like that!

  • LSW

    Inspiring – thanks for sharing June’s story! It’s powerful to motivate beyond what we feel and fear — to what we long for.


    Cynthia, this quiet good and on time for me. Just when I had decided to quit yoga as the instructor I loved has moved out of town. I did not feel I wanted train another.
    Also the fact that we all struggle to get up, helps me know I am not alone in wanting to stay in te bed.