Friday, January 20, 2012

Keeping the Wheels On

It's been six weeks.  That was the beginning of my let's-get-this-body-stronger program.  It all began with "floss only the teeth you want to keep" from my distant dentist.  It didn't take much to figure out: exercise only the muscles you want to use (for the rest of your life).  "If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself" is a quote from the elderly.

When my daughter was little, we all enjoyed Raffi and his fun songs.  "Bumpin' along in my little red wagon," we would sing while pulling her and her friends in the wagon over the uneven back yard. And on rough-air plane flights, I've thought those lines many times.  "One wheel's off and the axle's broken," words from the second stanza are not very reassuring during turbulent air time, so I change the song at that point.  But when I'm talking with friends about how they are, it often sounds like that second verse.

My elderly family members have a history of backing up to chairs, unlocking the knees and ku-thudding into the sitting position--thigh muscles unable to slow the descent. So I've been faithful to myself, knowing that strengthening this body is the best of Things I get to do today. Right up there, vying for first place, however, is learning to do it gently and moderately. It's not much use to me if my strength training leaves me with pulled muscles and holes shot in my vitality for the day. Humming Raffi songs about the condition of my axel is not on the list.

Today's workout underscores the need to observe the moderation principle.  I thought I had it down. This is not a race, nor a competition with anyone, not even myself.  Don't force it.  Keep the wheels on and the axle strong.

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