In his letter (March 1), Maurice LaCroix stated that walking outside in the deep snow was a good way to get exercise without spending money. I do not disagree with that. However, I do take offense to his statement, “People go to fitness centers and gyms and pay money because they think that being seen by others proves they work out.”

The outdoors is wonderful, but many people have serious arthritis and other physical issues. Deep snow, rough terrain, icy winter parking lots and sidewalks — those are places scary to people such as myself. We cannot safely maneuver there and that hurts — in so many ways.

So, I go to a fitness center at a local hospital and join in a class full of others my age (and some who are in their 90s). Our instructor is wonderful and fun and not afraid to push us to do our best. We laugh, we move, we sweat and … we love it. Not one of us is there to be “seen” and the only thing I need to prove to anyone is to myself —  can I do better.

By going there, I have found the chance to improve, to exercise and to find joy in friendships with people who understand and do not criticize or judge.

That is a lesson we could all learn.

Marilyn Churchill, Minot

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