1 of 3
2 of 3
3 of 3
My father always said of having another birthday, that, “It beats the alternative!” But I don’t like the idea of “getting old” and like a lot of people, I don’t always gleefully embrace change. In my fitness journey, I find that my biggest obstacle to aging gracefully is my ego.
I’ve heard it said that until you truly accept something, you are powerless to change it. The progression looks like this: “Awareness – Acceptance – Action.” For me, between Awareness and Acceptance, enters Ego.
Case in point: Whoever said “It’s as easy as falling off a bicycle” was clearly only considering the initial phase of that activity. True, my sudden, unintended dismount several years ago took no effort on my part, but the landing hurt like hell! In the process, I managed to both jam and hyperextend the large joint at the base of my left big toe, in route to a literal face-plant. However, I resumed my normal activities as soon as the throbbing stopped.
Fast forward 5 years or so, and I became willing to be Aware: “You know, that foot hurts pretty consistently, and the joint is kind of misshapen. Maybe I should see a doctor to find out exactly what’s going on with it. I wouldn’t want to do permanent damage.” Enter the orthopedist, who very professionally articulated, “You know, most people who have an X-ray that looks like that, aren’t still running.” I could have surgery to clean up the multiple bone spurs (followed by weeks of sitting with my foot up); I could modify my activities; I could buy new shoes; or some combination thereof.
Acceptance, followed by Action, came slowly. I announced to my husband that I was going shoe shopping – “Doctor’s orders!” I substituted time on the elliptical for some runs. With my trainer I finally traded “No really, I’M FINE” for “Yeah, okay, I’ll modify that movement.” I love leopard crawls – they’re great for your core (and sound kind of sexy) but I’ve traded them for the inverse and less appealing “dead bug” – taking all pressure off that crunchy sounding toe joint.
I must conclude that “grace” in aging is derived from our willingness to adapt. With quality of life directly related to health and mobility, I will meet myself where I am, right now; and do what I can, today, to keep moving.