In the olden days, we didn’t have to worry about fitness. I had a little taste of those times when I visited my Grandmother Emily in DeLeon Tx. On earlier visits she had still had chickens and a garden, which we had had at home since World War II. No problem there, just dip the chickens’ feet in lime water to kill the mites, and chop those weeds!
Weeding and tending her huge garden was some work, though she had some help, and I pitched in.
By the time of my age 10ish c.1948, her 60ish, she had given up the garden and chickens. We walked 45 minutes out into the country, picked up a watermelon, cantaloupe, some peaches, corn, and pattypan squash with a quart of home-made buttermilk, and walked back. I was in pretty good shape, so no problem. We didn’t have TV at home in Eunice, NM, signal couldn’t reach out there; so we were pretty active. I wasn’t in so much good shape that I don’t remember thinking pretty respectful thoughts about her physicality.
Nowadays we are bombarded in the internet and in print and on TV about this and that way to get in really good shape and stay there, take this vitamin, do that exercise: by all means, Don’t Forget the Core!
I was thinking grim thoughts about all this and how all this supposed wonderful
choice can impede recovery, yesterday.
Yesterday I went to hear a choir at the Mishkan Shalom synagogue, an old factory now a wonderful sunlit spiritual place, and heeded closely to Rabbi Holtzman’s call to the holy Torah for the morning:
“Come up for a blessing to help figure out what to wrestle with to make oneself whole.” (Those who know these things have already figured out the text for the day was about Jacob wrestling with the angel.)
This is a tall order for those of our times worrying about ways to rehabilitate and stay in shape so that we don’t have to holler “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”.
Not only that, hardly anybody talks about what to do if you have really been down and out for awhile, for whatever reason, and most of that stuff you read about is either not do-able or seemingly designed to hurt.
Sometimes we just don’t even have enough good health to take advantage of better structure and movement, much less pick up kettlebells or do pilates or whatever else is du jour.
Here’s what I have done several times in the past, coming back from grievous insult: walk out the front door, look at the time, walk 10 minutes breathing, swinging the arms, walk to a John Philip Souza cadence if you can.
Turn around at the 11th minute and walk back.
Do that for 2 weeks or so, eat well, get sleep. On the third week, go 15 minutes and come back, eat well, get sleep. Work up to 30-40 minutes out, same back,
nice cadence, eat well, get sleep, 5 days a week and you are there, ready to exercise, go for some of that stuff you read about. Don’t hurt yourself doing it, the operative words are, “Can I do my chores, pick up my children, be happy?”
If you can’t walk, figure out something else to do, that involves the whole body, such as swimming or riding a bike.
Here I am, joining the chorus of folks telling you what to do, remember that it is your choice to wrestle with your choice of the angel of fitness.
After my Grandmother Emily’s arthritic knees swelled up to the size of cantaloupes,
she sat in her chair and did what Jack Lalanne was doing on TV to the best of her ability. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIVfe-crHDs
A favorite Sousa march to walk to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM25qRgGuRg&feature=related