Thursday, April 25, 2013
Life carries on, one day at a time, and quite often as the time passes, we think that everything is unchanging.
Then something happens, or even doesn’t happen, and it suddenly proves that a change has occurred, and that when experts talk about those ‘baby steps’, it’s not only the ones we control (like changes in our food or exercise programmes), that they mean. Sometimes change, whether positive or negative, happens in tiny increments too.
I remember being in my twenties. Quite apart from being without the obvious physical changes of aging, I can remember doing cartwheels on a beach, as a joke, to show my two children that I could still do that. It nearly killed me then, but I didn’t lose that ability overnight.
The inability to walk upstairs without wheezing didn’t happen overnight either, or being unable to crouch when gardening, or put on my socks, or lace up my shoes, or cross my legs. It took thirty years for some of those things to happen.
We call it ‘getting older’, but really, the number of birthdays has very little to do with it. More than the general wear and tear, it’s us. We gradually stop doing the things we did because it’s ‘too uncomfortable’, we’re ‘too old’, we’re afraid of hurting/injuring ourselves. Basically, because it’s easier not to. Then we get depressed about it.
And whereas I cannot remember a single instant, where suddenly I was robbed of the ability to do any of these things, or moment when realized I could no longer do them, I can tell you exactly the instant that I realized that the ability to do some of them had returned!
Jogging round Ikea, after my long-legged son, whilst holding a conversation about beds! (Don’t ask!), and I hadn’t had to beg him to please slow down! I wasn’t even out of breath!
Sitting on the side of the bed, forcing each foot in turn into a figure of four over the other knee to put my socks on, right foot much worse than left. Now I do it automatically again, though it still hurts a bit.
Only last week, realizing that I was sitting with my legs crossed as I always used to.
And to crown it all, yesterday, looking at a series of exercises starting with full squats, then pulling on your feet to get even lower and thinking R...I...G...H...T,
Then discovering that, I could actually do them. It certainly wasn’t comfortable, and I didn’t do all 10, but I could do them.
So when your feet seem to be progressively further away than the length of your arms, and Thomas the Tank Engine, goes with you up the stairs, keep trying:
DON’T GIVE IN!!!