Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Friday, June 22, 2012

Talk the Walk - My History

I thought this picture was representative of what I am trying to do.
Bring back some of the person that I was before.
Connect the dots with walking.
When starting any new endeavor, talking it out can be helpful ... even if you are just talking to yourself.  So in this semi-regular blog post, I am going to pretend I am talking to myself - about me and walking.  I am happy to share this "talking to myself" with you.

Walking for me has been an on-again, off-again habit.  I started running back in my 30's.  I was younger and all my body parts cooperated without complaint (looking back I am amazed how little I appreciated that then.)  I was a hobby runner.  I ran about 2 miles several times a week.

On those runs I discovered a few things about me and exercise.
  • I feel better within a week.  It happens just that fast.
  • I improve in time and speed quickly.
  • I sleep better.
  • I am happier.
  • I love the natural rhythm of running.
Also in my 30's I discovered that:
  • Regardless of all the positives exercise gave me, I always stopped.  Always.
In my 30s, however, the benefits weren't so in-your-face important.  After all, I was 33, 35, 37 ... and I didn't need to do anything to feel better or look better or be normal.  I wasn't disintegrating before my very eyes.  I was going to live forever - every 30 year old knows that!!  So why work up a sweat if the person I see in the mirror is just fine!! (The logic of 30 year olds!)

So I stopped.

In my 40s, the person in the mirror was less sure about living forever.  I tried running again. Mistake!  My knees popped, my lower back spasmed, and my plantar faciitus (foot/heel pain) began ... all were a constant reminder that pounding the cement was probably not a good idea for me.  But still I tried, because I was never very good at listening to my body. After a few falls and injuries that benched me,  I stopped running, but tried walking.

I know, I know.  There are ways of working into a running routine safely, but that didn't happen. (The logic of 40 year olds is ... I am still 30. I don't need to do anything special.  I am still "young.")

So walking it was, and walking gave me all the same positive benefits. 

But still, I stopped.  

In my 50s the reality of the physical decline was hard to ignore. And now I knew I wasn't going to live forever.  But I still had another 100 good years ahead of me.  I also saw more of my future watching my mom struggle with the aging process that was complicated by her inactivity.  So I "fixed" my feet with prescription orthopedics, bought expensive walking shoes,  and put time aside to walk regularly.

And guess what happened ... (all together now), "She stopped."

Now I am in my 60's.  The road ahead doesn't look any rosier that it did 10 years ago. Regardless, I tried to keep walking, but it was an off-again, on-again kind of thing!  All the benefits I know by heart, all the consequences of non-movement clearly understood ... all the excuses have been used up.

So I am walking the roads again.

Next time:  Talk the Walk - Mind Games 

8 comments:

  1. Good luck. I find I am more comfortable with the "stopping" part.

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  2. So good to have that kind of talk with yourself. It is great to remind yourself that you have to keep on "walking the roads". Good luck!

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  3. Your post did indeed get me to thinking. I am 75 and been through the same types of thinking all these years. Just diagnosed as diabetic which since I am a nurse is not surprise to me. Because of you I am taking another look at what I CAN do not CANNOT. Blessings
    QMM

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  4. Oh lady, I understand what you are saying and am about your age. I do walk, as you do, and also exercise in a warm pool twice a week, which is perfect for anyone with foot or knee problems, and a lot of fun. Have you tried pool exercising?

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  5. I hear you...at 53 I don't like to run but do...but swimming and biking are keeping me feeling good. I hae to keep moving because I have to keep up with my kindergartners...sitting on the floor and hoisting kids up to the chin up bars isn't easy :O)

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  6. Great post, just in my 40's really need to move more!

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  7. Hi Girlfriend!

    Believe me I know about that walking and exercise thing. Lost weight in my 40's - wasn't too hard - gained it back in my late 40's -- now I'm in my mid 50's and had to lose it again --- it was horrible hard -- the older you get the harder it is to lose weight and start to exercise. So now - Im not stopping - because I don't think I could go through this all again if I had to restart! KEEP WALKING!!!

    Vicki

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  8. At least you keep trying!! This may be the time you don't stop. : ) Good Luck!
    I've been taking morning walks for 24 years.

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