Eating well is only part of the formula for healthy living. We need to move every day. Do our best to remain strong and fit or become strong and fit and maintain it as best we can.
My 86-year-old mother has risen from the ashes over and over again, undeterred by several cancer episodes involving her leg as well as hip replacements, spinal surgery, broken bones, etc.. She is a wonder woman, determined and strong — an incredible inspiration for me to quit bellyaching and get on with it. And so I do. She often out walks me, and she uses a walker. I kid you not. She walks with a walker and exceeds 10,000 steps per day. Let that sink in. Not only that, she peddles. She has a desk elliptical (found here) to use when she finally sits down. She is active through sheer determination. She’s leaving us in the dust.
In my dreams, I’m a marathoner, a cyclist, a golfer, and a weightlifter. But, in reality, I’m a walker, a putter, and a bicyclist. I’m aging. My body does not tolerate the activities I used to love. In the scheme of things, my issues are minor. I think of my mother.
I’ve never actually been a marathoner, but I hoped to become a runner as so many people do at this time of life. What was I thinking? My knees swell. I could pick up cycling too. You know, the sleek, fast cyclist riding in a group over long distances. They could be my people. But, my body objects. I’ve golfed since middle school and am down to only putting. I enjoyed step aerobic classes for years while my children were growing; my feet fell apart. At least it felt that way. I could barely walk around the block a couple of years ago. I enrolled in a body pump class to build strength and loved it. My body would not allow me to continue. Discouraging? Yes. Incapacitating? No.
After a visit with my doctor, months of physical therapy, new orthotic inserts from my podiatrist, and appropriate shoes (here), I slowly emerged a moving person again. When I asked the orthopedist about golfing, his response was “Sure, putt all you want.” Sadly, my favorite part of golf is driving off of the tee. But, putting it is. At least I can spend time in the beauty of the outdoors. When I asked him about returning to body pump weightlifting, he said, “Ya, no. Don’t do that anymore.” Hmph…
With my new orthotics, I can walk. I had never imagined that I would ever need orthotics. It sounds old. My grandmother had orthotics. I still visualize myself as relatively young. But, I can walk now. So, I talk about my orthotics with pride and enthusiasm. “Would you like to see my cool orthotics?” I am not quite fit enough to be a cyclist speeding down the highway. I am fit enough to ride my bicycle at a speed and distance that allows for good aerobic exercise — ten miles at 11 miles per hour. I am happy with that. My goal is to improve.
As part of my comeback, my husband who is a faithful exerciser began to walk with me. We walked longer and longer distances as my feet and body felt better. One day, we realized we had walked a 5k. As we high fived each other, we committed to and embraced the motto “5k Everyday”. At the time we thought that was quite impressive. Then we realized it is only about 8200 steps. We all know that 10,000 steps are the goal. The 10,000 step goal was a marketing campaign created to sell pedometers and quickly became the standard step goal. Our true motto now is “8k Everyday”. 10,000 steps. Get it done, one way or another. My mother is passing you. With her walker. Let’s get moving.
After your ten thousand steps, make yourself an after-workout treat. Chocolate Mint Banana Sorbet. It’s so refreshing and delicious. The fresh mint leaves are the piece de resistance. Of course, any fruit can substitute the chocolate. Let your creativity dictate your creation. Just be sure to share your combination with me!
“To him that will, ways are not wanting” or commonly stated, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Enjoy your day!
Disclaimer: This is not to be used as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before making changes to diet and exercise.