In January I gave myself a D- report card but my physio gave me a big fat F for my fitness level. I ended that post by repeating what my husband said “only you can change that.”
Then three things happened in
February. Back country skiing which was amazing in a pick your adventure sort of way and I realized I needed to be fitter. I took a young friend for her follow up hip arthroplasty appointment and her surgeon, a friend of mine, talked about how important strong glutes and abds are as we age. Then I saw my surgeon friend (yes I have a lot of them) about my newly sore knee post skiing. Some early arthritis in it and some degenerative changes in my spine. Added to all this has been a gradual weakening after I left my extremely physical job over a year ago.
March 1 arrived with a plan in place. It involved several elements as I still firmly believe walking and nature should not be taken out of the equation. So that walk is still a reconnection tine with my other half and with nature. We have flexibility as to the time of day and can usually out dress the weather although the wind makes us both whiny.
I’ve added to it by hitting my bike trainer. It’s almost daily although I will take one day off here and there. The minutes and the intensity are dictated by several factors but I try hard to get my heart rate up decently for a while without pissing off my knee by biking too long.
We’ve added a strength training with weights program 3 times a week. I day we as it’s a commitment we made together. I just did a Google search of YouTube videos that had seniors and beginners weight training in the key words. This couple has a huge selection of them and away we went. We’ve both increased our weights and our reps. I am also doing it and additional 3 days a week, branching out into other options that the Hasfit Tribe offers.
I follow this by doing my stretches. Indeed one day, when my back was ticked, I thought I just need to do a second set of stretches. It was like I turned a corner in the taking care of myself, at the tender age of 61. Better late than never I guess.
I have always been goal oriented so wanted to do a triathlon but that’s not happening in 2020. I had an epiphany the other day that, in reality, I am training. For life. For the more senior part of being a senior. That everything I do now has a positive impact on my quality of life this year and in 10, 20, 30 years from now.
I am so pumped with the results. It’s not “show off” on Instagram by any means but I can now do push ups, sit ups and lunges. I can lift all sorts of things more easily. The biggest benefit is that when my back gets pissed (and it just did recently) I can turn it around. A bike to warm up, some stretches and strengthening, ice and drugs and voila. Well maybe not quite that easily but I did turn this episode around without seeing my physio.
Is it early and will I fall off the band wagon? I am glad I started it in pre pandemic but had all that time at home to solidify the habits and routines and see results. During the whole super isolated part of Covid19 it was easy to find time to make this happen daily. BUT it’s super easy on a spring/summer day to go outside and not be dedicated to it but so far I’ve found the balance even if it is after dark. I can easily see fitting both the biking and the weights into a post work day and then going for our walk. That’s the vision for my fitness once we open up more and my work resumes but can I make it a reality? Right now it feels like I have rebalanced. In taking stock I have documented and added accountability to my actions.
The thing is it feels good because I feel good. The results say that I’ve been putting in the time to make a difference. A full gardening day leaves me exhausted but without the major muscle and joint issues I would normally have. Even our two full construction days this spring have not been beyond what my back says is doable. A day of lifting the littles in my life doesn’t leave my back so spent. That’s what I am training for. The real life race. Bring it on!
Ps — if I fall off the wagon please help remind me that only I can make the changes I need to. So you have my permission to kick me in the pants next sometimes I am a titch …… (Fill in the blank in the comment section!)
I can already hear my physio saying “I told you so”. I can also see my wise friend P, who has exercised regularly for the 45 years I’ve know her, smile and nod and give me a thumbs up. She’s been my inspiration for years and I know she will be proud of me and kick me if I need it!