HOW MUCH IS NECESSARY

On Saturday October 26th I turned 41 which mean I’m really in my 40’s now.  Somehow I thought being 40 just kept me on the cusp now I am really in it.  How do I feel about it? Some days I feel my age and more. I wake up with a body that is rebellion against everything I’m about to put it through.  Other days I bounce out of bed forgetting exactly how old I am and think of myself in my 30’s.  My husband doesn’t look a day over 35 and I often fall in line with knowing he is 5 years older therefore I must be early 30’s.  The reality is that on any given day I can feel, look and act 40+ years or I can feel, look and act way younger.  The choice is mine to make each and every day.

For 11 years I have forced myself up at the crack of dawn to do some sort of exercise, and can literally count on one hand how many times I have stayed in bed and not worked out first thing.  This is not an exaggeration, but more a realization that sounds insane even as I write it.  I have entrenched myself in the Paleo community with books, podcasts, articles, and magazines and the message is always the same.  They are passionate about not doing too much working out and especially cardio but more weight lifting and tons of resting.  I was able to jump on board because I would just walk and do yoga and thought that was enough for me physically and I could still participate in Paleo in my own life.  Two things became really clear to me; first, it isn’t enough for me to just walk and do yoga.  I love weight training and I feel really strong when I’m doing it but I don’t see my body changing the way I keep reading about.  I use exercise as my outlet and although walking is a great stress reliever it doesn’t make me sweat the way I need or want to sweat.  I forced myself to cut back on my Bikram because of flares and I won’t jeopardize my MCTD symptoms for the mere fact of exercise.  With that said I did take up running. I really enjoy running but I felt guilty this morning because as I was running this morning I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts that I tune into weekly and again they were talking about how this is not healthy and I felt like they were talking to me.

Some days I wake up and I’m pushing this body out the door or down to the basement and forcing a workout upon myself.  When the body feels good there is no stopping me but when it doesn’t I struggle like everyone else.  The problem for me is that when I feel good I take full advantage of it knowing that there are days when I don’t feel my best, but I have many more years left to enjoy life so I don’t want to leave it all on the mat right now but at the same I’m so afraid if I don’t give it my all every single day I will fall prey to the lazy side of me and that I don’t want. Not now, not a decade from now or even 3 decades from now.

The second thing that has become really clear to me is that there may come a real day in my life that I will wake up and everything would have changed.  My body may not cooperate with me anymore and it might hurt more than I can bear.  I might need more medications, or worse might find myself disabled.  These have always been a concern for me but as I get older and my body doesn’t bounce back as quickly it becomes a real worry and concern. What I’m doing today very well may be effecting what will happen later but all I have is today.  If I don’t utilize all the benefits of today I can’t be sure what tomorrow looks like for me. Many days I agree with the world around me and think I’m doing too much but then the little voice changes and tells me I need to do this.  My body needs this, my mind needs this, and my soul needs this so I do it.  I am not a gold star member of the Paleo community but I like what they stand for and I have incorporated so much of the lifestyle into my life and my husband’s life except for the exercise part.  There will come a day when I’m forced to rest and it may come sooner than I like but for now I’m pushing through.

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