Aging Gratefully

I'm turning 41 this year. Already. And I'm really not bothered by that number. I'm having a harder time with the fact that I now have a senior in high school, followed closely by a sophomore. I'm talking about my children. My babies.

I feel good. Really good. I'm training about twice as much as I was 10 years ago. And am much healthier now than I was then. 10 years ago I was still juggling my second year of teaching, first time home ownership, being a new baseball mom and hitting the YMCA 3 or 4 times a week. I hadn't yet been diagnosed as hypo-thyroid, and I was eating whatever I wanted to, including regular snacks of Teddy Grahams, Cheez-Its, Oreo and Chips Ahoy minis (they don't really count as cookies since they're so little, right?).

It's no wonder I feel better. I'm really not that upset about getting older. I've gained lots of wisdom. I've learned to listen to my body. And I don't care so much about what other people think. (Some moments I feel that I'm just a very short time away from being that lady with the loudly mismatched clothes who farts in public).

But here's what really bothers me. Most people DO NOT GET IT. Getting older doesn't mean you have to slow down. Who made up that stupid rule? I say getting older is the perfect excuse to get out there and do more. Check these ladies out:
Olga Kotelko is 95. She began competing in track and field events at age 77.  
Ernestine Shepherd-- the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the oldest competitive female body builder. At age 74, she competes in body building competitions and runs marathons.  
If you're experiencing aches and pains, let me suggest that maybe your body is responding to not enough activity. Think about it-- what happens when you ride in a car for a long period of time? You get a little stiff and sore. Many of us sit for long periods at work, drive home, then sit for dinner and again on the couch before going to bed.

Work on reversing the effects of aging by cleaning up your diet and moving more. And I don't just mean walking. Strength training has MAJOR health benefits. And it's never too late to start. Guess what, you can't squat because you haven't been squatting. When you're 90, don't you want to be able to take yourself to the bathroom? Well, then you might want to start squatting now, so that later you'll still be able to squat. Start with 1/4 squats if you have to; then progress to 1/2 squats; and then full squats. You can do it! Your body will be so grateful.


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