Don’t worry. I’m not thinking about running a marathon. I’m not thinking about taking up running. In fact, if I did, I would look more like Tim Conway doing his old man routine. I’m thinking about walking. For me that would be like the average person training for a marathon. There would be major amounts of sweat involved – copious tubes of Ben Gay – a heating pad and ice pack designed to cover my entire body – a heart monitor, IV filled with an energy drink and someone behind me equipped with resuscitating equipment.
When you get to my age, any kind of exercise is a challenge. Frankly getting out of bed is huge. Lately I’ve been stuck to a chair, writing all day, with a body that’s beginning to look like a combination of Jabba the Hutt and the hunchback of Notre Dame. Still I press on as if I were in a race against time. As a matter of fact, that’s what it is. My book may be my last opportunity at success.
When I was a young girl of 13, I thought anyone over 30 was ancient. When I became 30, I still had a certain amount of resilience, but I thought anyone over 50 was ready for the glue factory. Don’t ask. When I turned 50 I was becoming a bit sympathetic with those in their 70’s. Now that I’m in my 70s I wonder how I ever made it.
Maybe if I’d been more athletic as a young person I wouldn’t be in this condition today, or if I had been very athletic I may be in worse shape now. Most of my friends who were cheerleaders or sports nuts are now suffering with bad knees and hips.
My doctor believes I’m an active senior, but the truth is most of my exercise consists of simply standing up, sitting and laying down. With any amount of exertion I find myself short of breath and exhausted. Thus I’ve decided to start walking again. I even have some spiffy athletic shoes. I can put my arch supports in those things and I should be able to make it to the end of the driveway and back.
I’ll start slow and maybe by the end of summer I can finish a block or two. It will be like learning how to walk all over again – starting with baby steps. Wish me luck!