93. Face Workout

93. Face Workout

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You

Face Workout

To exist is to change, to change is to mature,
to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
 ~Henri L. Bergson

As I turned the corner, my daughter, Serrae yelled, “Mom, stop making those faces. One of my friends might see you.”

“Yeah,” said my son, Noah, as he slumped down in his seat. “They’ll think you’re crazy.”

I continued puckering my lips in and out to the count of three. After completing five repetitions, I formed my mouth into the shape of an “O” while simultaneously pulling up my bottom jaw.

At the stoplight, I rhythmically rotated my head from left to right watching with each pivot to see if the light had changed. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the lady in the car to my left staring at my swiveling neck.

When the light turned green, I pressed the accelerator and scrunched my forehead up and down. I then performed one of the most difficult exercises. I pressed my chin in and out 10 times while ignoring the slow burn traveling up the sides of my jaw.

“Mom, really. What’s the purpose of this?” asked Noah.

Serrae, now disguised by my sunglasses and a baseball cap she found in the backseat, said, “Don’t you think you exercise a little bit too much? Can you spell obsession?”

“Kids, what you don’t understand is fitness doesn’t start below the neck. We have 57 facial muscles and they need to be exercised just like the rest of our bodies. In order for those muscles to stay toned and tight, we have to increase the circulation to those areas. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by the exercises I’m doing. You want your mom to be healthy and look good, right?”

“I guess so.”

“Whatever.”

“I guess so” and “whatever” were hardly the responses I desired, but after a year of facial exercise, six days a week for 20 minutes, I had achieved the outcome intended and I am no longer mistaken for someone older than I really am.

There is beauty at every stage of life yet most of us want to look our age or younger—not older. When I look in the mirror, I genuinely embrace the fine lines, the slight downturn of my mouth, and the faint age spots because I know they are typical of my generation. Growing older is a blessing, but I want to look good for my age. I envision myself at seventy, eighty and ninety years old, strong and vibrant from head to toe. And yes, I’ll still be traveling down the road—puckering up my face and perplexing the other drivers.

~Dwan Reed

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