Fitness Over Forty – Tales of an Aging Superhero

There’s a high that comes whenever you are deep in the thick of doing something you love. It’s almost as if your spirit is levitating a few centimeters above your body.  Shondra Rhimes calls it the “hum”.

I was humming. Leading a group of sweaty women squatting, lunging and banging drumsticks to blaring music. Suddenly the “hum” felt more like a sting as a  painful knee twinge crashed the party.  Subtly shifting my weight I thought, “Ohhh here we go…”

This little twinge is one of the gifts that arrived shortly before my 46th birthday.  A boxed set, it came with a matching lower back twinge.  Fortunately I can avoid them with regular stretching and foam rolling, but I sometimes forget. At least, I think I forget. I suspect these new preventative habits keep getting lost under my dirty pile of Denial. I’m used to advising others about working around tight muscles or injuries, but have never had to worry about such mortal things myself. I’ve always thought of myself as Wonder Woman. Minus a magic lasso.

But it seems that time catches up with us all —  even legends in their own minds.  Fortunately I’ve had examples of  extremely determined people who refused to let age, injury, disability,  busy schedules or anything else get in the way of their health.  Perhaps they can’t exercise like others, but they push themselves to work as hard as they can within their abilities.  They find their new normal.

And so will I.

And so can you.

We’re all on our own hero’s journey through life. Sometimes the path you know is blocked so you have to find, or make, an alternate one. You just keep moving forward.

Sometimes the path you know is blocked so you have to find, or make, an alternate one.

My muscles don’t recover as fast as they did twenty years ago. If I don’t stretch and foam roll my back and knees hurt. That’s my new normal. At 70 I’ll have an even different normal.  Truth is, as you age — and there’s only one alternative to aging — you are going to have some aches and pains.  There are only two choices: 1. the aches that come from a healthy, active life that’s free of lifestyle related disease, or  2. the aches that come from a sedentary, lethargic life that’s full of sickness and bottles of medication.

Number 1 is better in any universe.  So strap on your capes.  Let’s wrap our wrists, brace our knees and stretch our backs.  The world is waiting (bring some Icy Hot, would you?).

Queue the theme music.


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