I referred to myself as “old” at a physical therapy session recently and the PT (who is about 35, I’m guessing) chided me. I was using the term a bit tongue-in-cheek, because I don’t really feel old. In my head. Aging is real.
In my referral to this PT, I saw that my doctor referred to me as a “trim, pleasant, 64 year old woman” and it unnerved me a bit. Really? Me? A “64 year old woman?” That non-personal way of describing me caught me off guard. (At least she called me pleasant!)
In my head, I know I am 64, but I am still as energetic
and quick and robust, physically, as I have ever been.
Reality, though is that I am beginning to feel as if I’m “getting there” in terms of feeling old-er.
Who knew that our bodies start to poop out after 30? (Professional athletes know, I suppose.)
If I had thought of it, it makes logical sense that:
- Hips that have kept me moving for 64+ years might start to show some wear and tear.
- Birthing 5 babies (only one of five being under 8 lbs), might show up later…much later…in ways other than the joy of having grandkids.
At 64, I might not have hearing that is as acute or eyesight as keen or energy as abounding as 30 years ago.
And who knew that melatonin and its sleep benefits starts to poop out as well!? I read recently in a blog about all sorts of people “of an age” who wake at 2:00 a.m. Dare I say, “Me, too?”
Truth is, I do feel like I’m aging every day if I focus on what isn’t working as well as I want it to.
This week, I have decided that I am NOT a runner. I can walk distances at a hearty clip for a while, but running just isn’t working for me. After trying for more than a year to get my lungs and legs to the point they might keep going for more than a mile, I admit that I just don’t have a runner’s body (the physical therapist convinced me). That source of frustration and inner conflict is gone….runner, no more.
While my husband is in Colorado, acclimating to the high elevation of Steamboat Springs for a 50-mile ultra-marathon, I have decided I am not a runner. He sees running as what he was created to do. He is most alive running. He has studied and planned and prepared for this run…and there will be others.
Dave’s great love of running is why I tried to love it….and why I am able to lay it aside. It’s not for me.
I’m not giving up my goal of staying fit and active into my 80’s…no way! But, I will be more realistic about what that will look like. And I will do what I enjoy, not what frustrates.
As with most things, this is a mind-set problem.
I can think of myself as “old” or “pre-elderly” or “aging.”
OR I can focus on keeping myself active and engaged, planning to be fit and active into my 80’s and beyond….with just a little bit of tweaking as I go along.