Inner Cheerleader Resurrected

Today, I attempted the impossible. Well, at least I thought it was impossible.

I attended, with actual intent to participate, an intermediate Step class. I did. I really did, and it was a big deal.


I highly resent the fact that this woman still looks nearly as good as this today.


I call this one the ‘Flying high kick’. Invented it, actually.

Let me backtrack in an effort to give you a little insight. In the 80’s, 90’s, and even the early 2000’s I was a gym goddess.  In the 80’s, I mastered Jane Fonda’s aerobics wearing purple tights, purple & pink striped leotard, and pink leg warmers. In the 90’s I kicked butt in Tae-Bo with Billy Bob or whatever the heck his name was. I could  bob and weave and throw a punch with the best of them. At least for a girl. Advanced Step class? Bring it on! Zumba? I’m all in! Strength training? You bet.

Those were the days. Sigh.

When my fifties rolled around, so did the physical limitations. Still, I kicked and stepped and danced in gym classes anyway, consequences be damned. Except for one particular consequence that landed me in the hospital with an IV. The doctors in the ER patted me on the head and told me I needed to drink more water, but they didn’t have a clue as to why I arrived at their doorstep  shaking so hard my teeth rattled, so nauseous I wanted to die.  Their sugar water-IV had me back on my feet in a few hours, so I shook it off and went back to the gym.

But  it kept happening. At the worst possible moments. Like the time I boarded a plane and had to be removed in an aisle-skinny wheelchair. Simple hydration did not keep the mysterious attacks at bay – my blood tests had all come back normal, so the doctors sent me home with a knowing look and a patient grin and no answers. Reminded me of my mechanic’s clueless stare when I tried to make the same noise as my sick car in an effort to explain a problem. I was determined to find out what the heck was wrong with me.

I love Google. Just sayin’.

sack on head

This was my face when I thought the cheerleader had died.

All those eye-opening discussion threads about my symptoms led me to the answer: hypoglycemia. I’d never even heard of it before. Too little food, or the wrong kind of balance in the body to keep sugar levels accurate. Not diabetes, but the opposite.

Working out took a huge backseat as I figured out how to fix myself. It took four years of strict eating, and a firm commitment not to skip meals. Through experimentation, I found protein to be the most important thing my body needed, and thought about all those years – from high school and beyond – I’d starved myself to be Twiggy-thin.  I’m paying the price, now.  (Is it possible to be healthy and skinny? Working on it.)

So today was a BIG. DEAL. I made it all the way through the Step class, didn’t have one hint of hypoglycemia, and everybody thought I did great. It’ll take a while to remember the steps, but I’m back in the saddle, uhh…on the exercise floor, again. Before I realized the problem,  in 2009 I wrote a humor column in The Capital Journal (SD daily newspaper) about working out. Here’s a link:

For previous article, click here!

At that point, I thought I was just running out of steam, and attributed the death of my inner cheerleader to aging.


NO WAY, BABY! My inner cheerleader is alive and kickin’.

God bless Google.



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3 Responses

  1. Mike Crowl says:

    Kerry, I applaud your enthusiasm. But if the skinny little instructor wants you to launch vertically a foot and a half off the floor, maybe next time you should stay in bed and send the inner cheerleader to the workout. Then you can get a little bit of rest and then maybe “has cheeseburger!”

    • Kerry Peresta says:

      Yeah, good idea, except the inner cheerleader and I seem to reside in the same physical space. Most of the time, anyway. Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  2. Lea Blevins says:

    Roflmao! This is great!! Glad your back to the exercising. I could use a little myself!! Take it easy now Kerry-don’t over do it. Slow is the answer!!

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