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On being airlifted out to Kathmandu…

This springtime and a fortuitous post by Rolfer™Sandy Collins on our Rolfing® SI forum have caused me to remember the brave folks of my practice: the ones who come in with their jaw half kicked off from kickboxing, those who trek in Nepal against all odds, and those who bravely take a step to lower their rampant aging, even though it be a small step.

Why we must describe those slings and arrows of fate such as busted knees, backs and mental depression as aging, is beyond me.  It is not “just” aging.

There is beginning to be more and more research around chronological age and biological or functional age.  The forefront of the diet research is talking about caloric restriction.  The forefront of the mental research is talking about exercise, both mental and physical, as important in slowing the so-called aging process.

In our own world, are we biologically old or young for our age, or just right?

We all have our own standards on this, and springtime provides a good time for a re-evaluation.  Most of us, unlike Sandy, won’t choose 2 years in advance to go on a 15 day hiking trip in Nepal to a level of 17,000 feet. However, seems to me that Sandy made a life-changing decision when she took that on.

The choices we make each day to do a little more in the search of turning back the biological clock are fine, up to a point.  However, that big decision, to go on a trip with our grandchildren rafting down the Grand Canyon,  run that marathon, to walk for hours in the Bosque del Apache at dawn in search of some bird, can be a catalyst for what Sandy has called an alchemy of fitness in the mind and body to promote healing.

In Sandy’s case her 2 year training for the trip was admittedly not enough, from her writing of it, but it was enough to enable her to make the trip despite a bad case of giardia she contracted in Nepal. She got well from her various aging problems and toxicitys in the presence of the mountain, in spite of throwing up all up and down the mountain, the challenge.

Another awesome effort: Eiko and Minoru, a 30-something couple who had faced a lot together, decided to run the Philadelphia Marathon.  When I treated them to carb loading the night before, they revealed that they had trained…but never to the marathon distance.

The next day, they made it.  As they put it, a lot of healing took place. And, they didn’t have to be airlifted back to New York City.

So, do you have a challenge for yourself this spring?

BTW, you can find the Rolfer Sandy Collins, on

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Linda–I guess there are great healings and small healings. I’m working on the small healing level these days and I have two goals for this spring/summer: walk every day and do the yard work on the weekends. Simple, but hard to attain given long work hours. I have the idea that no matter how much exercise I get at age 57, it will not be enough to stave off the 35 years and counting of sitting in a chair for work at least 8 hours/day. I wonder what your thoughts are about that.

  2. Rather than take this as a possible Prozac opportunity, I’m offering this old joke about all of our predictions of the future: Two actuaries are duck hunting. They see a duck in the air and they both shoot. The first actuary’s shot is 20 feet wide to the left. The second actuary’s shot is 20 feet wide to the right. The actuaries give each other high fives, because on average they shot it. (Laugh track)

    What this means to me is, we can only make educated guesses in prediction of our future biological age. However, as an actuary client once told me, “If we pass age 50 without heart disease or cancer, we will most likely live to 90 for women, 80 for men.” This means we know (on average) something, we don’t need to arrive there like George Burns, “If I had known that I would live to age 100, I would have taken better care of myself”.

    This means to me that we owe our 90 year old selves to do the best we can, to try a little bit harder, to pay our 90 year old selves of the future first in our daily life.
    In our working life, to consider that 90 year old self before all else, to pull down our oxygen mask first.

    Your exercise ideas leave little carbon footprint: good. We will all need better air out there, wherever out there is. If you get any vacation, maybe you can step out a bit and challenge yourself, as in this Kathmandu blog.

    The book, Maximum Performance, by Morehouse and Gross, has some philosophy and concrete advice for what to do when you have very little time. It is an oldy but goody, and in its many editions, both hard and paper, deservedly sold millions of copies.

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