Archives for posts with tag: active

After a 26 hour shift I was exhausted even after I woke up. The temperature was over 100 degrees and it was a run day; day 2 of week 2 of my new running program. 

I milled around and debated if I had enough justification to skip my workout for the day. I was tired, it was hot, and it felt great to just sit down and relax. I decided I’d go check the mail, evaluate how I felt and exactly how hot it was outside. No surprise, HOT! But I felt pretty good on my short walk. So I made myself a deal – walk to the gym and do my run on the treadmill rather than outside in the heat. Done! 

As I arrived at the gym, I jogged across 6 lanes of traffic at the last intersection (my community hasn’t grasped the concept of pedestrian friendly yet) and then I saw something that kicked me in my ass. 

Standing at the bus stop I saw an older disabled gentleman casually waiting for the bus to arrive. For whatever reason in nature, he stood there with his body contorted in its natural state. His legs and ankles jutting off at akward angles. His arm and hand unable to be straightened. And he didn’t look a bit unhappy. He was minding his own business waiting for the bus. 

Seeing him made me think of other people who didn’t have the option to be active. My father came to mind. He’s a pretty active and well-aged individual. In his 60’s he recently relocated to the southwest United States. He is an avid golfer, and motorcycle rider. He  recently took up kayaking, and is ecstatic to get back on his road bike. Unfortunately. He is recovering from a knee replacement and has been home bound with a walker for the past 2 weeks. He is undoubtedly going crazy. 

Here I was bitching to my able-bodied self that I didn’t want to get off the couch and go to the gym. I told myself my legs were sore, and there was always tomorrow. I discounted the good fortune of having a healthy body, good joints, and the ability to walk and run with decent grace. 

I stood taller as I walked into the gym. I competed my 4 mile run, with the occasional ache and desire to slow down. I kept thinking that so many people would love to have the ability or even the time to get out and get active. I felt great when I was done. I’m not sure if I would have won any medals or trophies for my speed, but I got it done.

Don’t take what you have for granted. It’s easy to discount your ability and opportunity and overshadow it with a bum mood or excuse. Always think of those people that would gladly take on your minor inconveniences and give you theirs. Use what you got while you got it. 

If you are lucky enough to dodge every other obstacle, there is a pretty good chance you won’t be able to dodge time and the journey of aging. 

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Life gets busy. Work hours change. Kids need your time. The new episode of “Biggest Loser” is on. There is always an excuse to not be active.

Recently when I was in Palm Springs the weather ended up being cooler than expected. So my plan of waking up for a morning hike or run was put in jeopardy. I stayed out later than expected, drank a few extra glasses of wine, and found myself pretty damn comfortable under the covers. But I decided I’d get up and go. I forced myself to get up and go.

Chilly, tired, and with a sore body I made may through the neighborhood to the trailhead. Honestly I was a couple hundred yards into it when I thought about scraping the plan and heading back to crawl into bed.

Then I saw this elderly lady walking in front of me. As I got closer, and eventually passed her, I couldn’t help but notice her effort. We were on level pavement. But she was working so hard to take every step. No walker or cane, just sheer determination. It wasn’t fast progress but she kept moving. You could tell by her body movement that every step was a lot of work.

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It made me realize how ungrateful I was being for my health; For my ability to break out into a sprint and cut left and cut right. I’m nowhere near being in Olympic shape but I’m pretty active. My health is overall pretty good. But I know it won’t always be. I’ve had to work through a sore knee to get back into shape. My body gets sore when I over do it. And I see and feel that I don’t heal like I used to.

But you have to use what you have before it’s gone. There are people that would love to have the health, or even the limbs, to be able to do something active. Some use prosthetics to do it. Others, like this little old lady, use mental determination.

Don’t waste the days when you can be active and agile. One day walking across the room may not even be an option.