From We Wander & Wonder:
There are no promises, of course. We’ve all heard about the young, super healthy runner who had a heart attack mid-run, or the fitness instructor who had a stroke. Nature, red in tooth and claw* does what it will. A good fitness regime or an eating plan is no guarantee of longevity. Sometimes even the opposite is true. A dear friend of mine passed recently. He was known for his ever present cigarette. He never drank water, instead preferred Guinness or whiskey. The last time I saw him, we drank red wine out of Styrofoam cups in his hospital room. He was 80 years old.
So, while I hope eating well and working out improves my long term health, I know its a craps shoot. But what I do know is this – since losing weight and starting running, kayaking and lifting weights, I am happier, less stressed and have a lot more energy. I am in the best shape I have been in, in my entire life – and it just keeps getting better.
40? Bring it on!
* Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
One of the great things about heading down this whole fitness path is that I’m doing new things all the time. And they aren’t just new, they are things I would have considered completely impossible just a year ago. I’ve opened a lot of new doors in a very short period of time.
Taking a couple risks led to my feeling like I could take a couple more. Then some of those risks started paying off, and that meant even more confidence, which led to being even more open about trying new things. It’s not just fitness, (although honestly, those are the things that blow my mind sometimes,) but other things as well. It’s a strange correlation, but learning to lift weights has helped me to speak my mind in situations where I would have normally held my tongue. It’s not because I am tougher, it’s because I am starting to see that I can do, and be, a lot more than I ever thought.
It’s exciting because I am rapidly approaching 40 and there are certain things that I’ve always wanted to do that I thought I would have to put behind me. You know, the whole, “It’s too late for that now.” I love reading stories about people in their nineties writing books or breaking weightlifting records, and yet, there are a number of things I had resigned myself to being “too old” for. Sometimes it isn’t just age – there are things that have sounded interesting that I have discarded just becuase they don’t seem like they fit my life. Well, I’ve proven to myself that I don’t even know what that means anymore. My life really can be just about anything.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
– John Lennon, 1940-1980
I have a ton of thoughts going around in my head – posts to write and ideas to share, but I am a little overwhelmed. Hermes’ surgery last week sucked up all my mental and emotional reserves, and now I am running on fumes. So, I thought I would re-post something I saw that made me happy. I loved this quote posted over on Fit For a Year:
It’s important to remember that each footstrike carries you forward, not backward. And every time you put on your running shoes you are different in some way than you were the day before.
John “The Penguin” Bingham, Going with the Flow, The Penguin Chronicles Archive.
Photo credit: Jennifer Elaine Hagedorn