One of my goals in retirement, I guess a goal for the rest of my life, is being in great physical shape. I am going to age so why not age with the least pain and the most health possible? My dad passed away at nearly 90 and exercised right up until he was unable to walk anymore (the last few months of his life) and so I am shooting for 30 years of health here. I have gone to the gym off and on for years, practiced yoga for about 10 and I do watch what I eat all the time (having one bite of that delicious looking chocolate cake vs. a whole slice) but I have never had the time or real ability (maybe that's an excuse) to fully commit to caring for my body. For me, when it all hits the fan I hunker down and want to sit and meditate or write or maybe have a long talk with my husband, brother, friends; I don't get up and take a walk. I probably should have all these years but it's just not my go-to for stress reduction. But, things are different now....I am retired.
Yesterday I started up training/coaching again. I arrived with several complaints about my calf muscle (tight), my back (tight), and my shoulder (tight). I also said aloud so I could hear myself, "I am really ready to commit." I had been in that very same training space before so I am not so sure my trainer believed me. "You have to stick with it to get results," she tells me. Of course I know that but it helps to hear it again. "So how often should I exercise?" I ask her, wanting to nail it down to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule for weights and maybe a weekly yoga class along with one aerobic class. "You should move and stretch everyday," she smiles and looks me directly in the eye. Oh boy, I think, I am in trouble :)
We started by rolling the front of my legs, the back of my legs, the sides of my legs and even my feet, along with my butt. As usual, I am a bit awkward trying to model what her perfectly toned body is doing. "The left, foot. The left foot, " she directs me while I move my right foot and leg straight. We then talked about how my back hurt because my butt was probably not "firing." Say what? It was explained to me that your body needs balance. If you whole body is not supporting you correctly and you don't have good posture, for example, then certain muscles are forced to go it alone and that's when you feel pain because muscles need to work together. Philosophically, this works for me! Balance. And so we spent the bulk of our hour having me squeeze my butt cheeks in various positions, practicing good posture (move your ribs down and tuck your tail but don't hunch your shoulders...yikes) and proper breathing. And, it all felt so good. But, that was the easy part.
Now I am sitting here writing in the early morning hours while my husband snores away, listening to the rain pitter patter on the leaves and the rooster crow somewhere in the neighborhood. I am peacefully sipping my chia tea tea THINKING about how I need to wake snore man and then go into the spare room where my yoga mat is all laid out and squeeze those butt cheeks, stretch those legs, practice that curious "helicopter" move with my arms, and then probably plan on talking a walk later if not signing up for a spin class. But, I think I will first take just a few more moments right here :)