I know you want to. Well, most of you do. You have this idea of how awesome you used to be in one way or another – of the days when you could tear through ten or fifty miles of road no problem. You remember when your abs were hard as steel and your endurance unending. And you want it back.
I hate to break it to you, but you can’t go back. Unless you have a time machine hidden in your basement, and even then . . . well, we all know the perils of time travel.
So, then, what do you do about this desire to return to those halcyon days of your indestructible youth? First of all, think about how much you have learned since then. Probably you’ve had new relationships, births and deaths, new injuries, lots of fun, new pets, new homes, and on and on. Even if you could really go back, would you want to? If you say yes, then you should see a good therapist – not because there’s anything wrong with you but because you clearly don’t have any true idea of how awesome you actually are. And believe me, you are awesome.
So, if you feel enriched by what’s happened since ‘back in the day’ (even if that was only last year), then start your road running or biking or middle-aged acrobatics from the knowledge that you are rocking this whole aging process.
As you’re going through the somewhat tedious stages of rebuilding strength and endurance, of sore muscles and waking up a bit creaky, think about the total wonderfulness of the life you are living now (of course it’s not all totally wonderful, but probably at least a couple of things are).
Try not to drag around the past with you while you’re building your strength and endurance. You can become fast or flexible or long-winded, not ‘like you used to be’, but like you are now.
There’s no need to look to the past to know that you’ll get strong and fast and flexible, if you want to. There is absolutely no reason you can’t do ten or fifty miles or twist yourself into a pretty knot. But this time the work of it will be driven by the life you are living now; it will be sustained by your bigger, more seasoned heart. And what’s not to love about that?
Now, go drink some water.
- Isabel Spradlin is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.