# How much is a million?

Standard

That’s the name of a children’s book by Steven Kellogg, and I must have read it to my classes, over the years, a hundred times, because a million is a really, really big amount, and it is hard to comprehend.  But guess what!  I have lifted a MILLION POUNDS!  I know!  That is really incredible!  I can’t believe it myself.

I use references to big amounts all the time.  Like, “I have a ton of yard work to do.”  And, “I must’ve eaten a ton of chips.”  And then, “I spent a ton of money at the consignment store.”  A ton is two-thousand pounds.  I thought that was a lot!  A male elephant weighs between six to eight tons.  A million pounds is five hundred tons!  So, continuing with the math…five hundred tons would be about seventy-two elephants.

Seriously, it is mind boggling.  At least it boggles my mind, because I am about the most resistant person to exercise there is.  I do it, but I don’t like it.  Two years and eight months ago, I moved to North Carolina (though I didn’t know I was moving, go figure), and I joined the YMCA for something to do.  As part of my membership plan, I was given a personal trainer, who asked me what my goals were.

Frankly, at that time, my main goal was just to be able to go for thirty minutes without crying, but that is not what I said.  I told her I wanted to maintain muscle tone, keep my weight at a reasonable level, improve my balance, and have it all be like magic.  The trainer dismissed the magic part, and she set me up on six machines that were to work my legs, arms, and core.  I was to do eight to twelve reps, and do two sets of those reps.  I gave her a secret five digit number, which she programmed into the machine, and I was good to go.

About three mornings a week, I am at the Y, doing my weights and spending an hour in a “gentle yoga” class.  I miss about a day a week in the winter, sometimes more, when I substitute.  I miss when I go to Wisconsin.  Otherwise, I am pretty faithful because I know I need to do this for myself, and it gets me out of the house.

I lifted those million pounds a few at a time, a day at a time, and one day it was done.  And that is the lesson.