I’m 57 years old and 60 is fast approaching. I was recently told that I don’t act my age when I showed someone a home obstacle course/jungle gym I’m building. This was meant as a good hearted rebuke, but I take it as an affirmation. I freely admit I don’t act may age because I’m not convinced that age is a limitation.
There are plenty of people in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond who don’t “act their age”. Daniela Barnea, 73, recently won three gold medals in swimming. Jacinto Bonilla at 77 competes in CrossFit and even had a WOD named after him. Paul Tetrick, 85, has won more than 12 USA Cycling Time Trial Championships. A quick online search will turn up so many “seasoned” athletes it will make your head spin!
Growing older is inevitable barring illness or injury. To my knowledge there is no law that says we have to grow old in our spirits, though. Certainly there is nothing that mandates allowing our bodies to fall apart from disuse or misuse. I honestly do not see myself growing old with anything approaching complacency. As Dylan Thomas wrote “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” I plan to go down kicking and screaming until I draw my final breath!
I took a lunchtime walk yesterday on the Kennebec River Rail Trail, as I usually do during the workweek. The day was moderately sunny, although it had begun rather cloudy and certainly cold-a chilly 6 degrees Fahrenheit at my house. It was around 30 degrees at noon.
I started out bundled up with my heavy winter coat, knit cap, and wool mittens. I usually shoot for a 30 minute walk. By the time I was five minutes in I had to remove my cap because I was heating up. By the time I reached the half way mark, I had also removed my mittens, and shortly thereafter I had unzipped my coat. I actually had worked up a light sweat by the time I got back.
Here’s the thing: I had prepared myself for my noon walk based upon expectations I formed at 6:30 in the morning regarding the temperature. What I should have done was check my smartphone for updated weather information prior to my walk, instead of relying on outdated expectations. As it turns out this principle applies to a lot of things in life: make decisions based upon reality not preconceptions.
Several months ago I stopped watching the morning news on TV. This developed as I got into the habit of rising at 5 AM to do my daily exercise. In turn, I had started that habit because I was being inconsistent in my evening workouts due to church committee meetings and other evening commitments. But I digress.
Instead of watching the morning news, I listen to classical or contemporary Christian music and read online newspapers on my tablet. The advantage here is that instead of being inundated with all manner of nastiness on TV I can pick and choose what I want to read.
The world is a scary place. Believe me, I get that. Horrific things are happening every day all around the world. Some of them seem much more immediate and relevant to us though, even if it really isn’t. I believe this is largely due to the various “news” media running on a 24 hour cycle of ratings-driven “if it bleeds it leads” programming.
In pursuit of personal simplification I choose to not participate any more than necessary in the deliberate over-exposure promulgated by CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. and yes, the local affiliates. By opting out of the unending fright-fest, my days begin much more calmly. At the end of the day, literally, I can lie down and rest easier. Not because the world is any safer but because I no longer allow it to dominate my heart and soul.
I struggle with certain aspects of my time management. Specifically, I have gotten into the habit of doing my workouts in the evening, after I get home from work. Lately though there just seems to be far too many days when I missed a workout. Some of them were because I had a really nasty migraine, and there is just no getting around being sick. Some were due to unexpected life events-not much you can do to anticipate them by definition.
But I have had a lot of days like today. Too many, to be honest. I have a church meeting that starts at 6:30 PM, and will run a couple hours. It will be rather late by the time I get home, well past my normal workout time. Even so I’m going to do a short workout just so I’ll have done something today instead of skipping it altogether.
From now on when I have days like today coming up in my schedule, I must be better about compensating. The best solution would be to get up a bit early and do my workout at the start of the day. I’ve tried in the past and I can honestly say that I truly am not a morning person.
The thing is, I have decided that this is no longer acceptable. I am going to establish a habit of getting up at 5:00 AM and getting in a workout in the morning. I don’t recall where I read it but I did once read that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. So for the next 3 weeks, I’m habit building!
What kind of relationship do you have with your scale? Here are a few things to keep in mind for a healthier relationship with your scale.
You don’t need to weigh yourself daily. Set a different increment—once a week, maybe, or even less often—by which you will weigh yourself and stick to it.
Your weight can fluctuate 2-4 pounds from day to day. There are a number of factors that can greatly affect your weight from one day to the next including the amount of salt in your diet and when you had your last meal, among others.
Don’t obsess on a number alone. In addition to weighing yourself, track your progress by taking measurements, getting your body fat tested, and/or keeping track of how your clothing fits.
Lastly, remember that your character is far more important than a hot body. Do your best, take care of yourself and be health, but know that your self-worth is based on who you are on the inside, not on a number on the scale!