I solemnly promise this is the final installment of my “turning 60” naval gazing (a reference I should refrain from making since the image of someone contemplating their 60 year old naval is the antithesis of attractive). Speaking of 60 year old body parts, however, part of my contemplation has revolved around a sense of gratitude for most of mine. Aging certainly is accompanied by its share of aches and pains. My constant refrain is, “Aging is not for sissies.”
Six years ago I read a book entitled, Younger Next Year wherein the author, Chris Crowley, maintains the key to turning back our biological clock is exercise. I was so persuaded by his arguments that, even before finishing the book, I joined the YMCA. (Didn’t that Village People’s song just pop into your head?) Six years hence, I do feel stronger and fitter than I did when I turned 50. While muscle definition has been a bi-product of this process, it wasn’t my first goal. Flexibility and joint protection were the ultimate goals. Hopefully that will hold as I crest into my 70s and 80s (optimistic aren’t I?)
I was descending a staircase at a favorite restaurant last weekend and paused to acknowledge my ability to do so. Scooting quickly across a busy intersection I was struck by the sight of someone in a wheel chair who was not able to move as quickly and ably. Riding my beloved bicycle to the grocery store made me grateful for my balance and energy level. I spend so much time multi-tasking and in a state of impatience running hither and yon that I generally fail to appreciate the fact I am capable of executing all these tasks. My resolution after reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is to begin a gratitude journal in which I write at least one thing I’m grateful for each day. I’m hoping this will help me practice mindfulness, which just may be the meaning of life. At the top of my list will be my physical and mental health and fitness.