How can that be? I'm pretty active, and like all baby boomers, I think I look younger than my age. Why do I feel like an old woman today?
You may recall I reported I'd taken up yoga a couple of months ago. I loved it, and things were going well. For some unknown reason, this week has been different. Tuesday, I couldn't stretch as far, and my hamstrings were unusually tight. No problem, I thought. I'll just stretch them out, and they'll be fine. Thursday, they were a bit tighter and threatened to cramp when I did the same routine I've been doing painlessly for two months. Today I couldn't even make it the whole thirty minutes. The muscles and tendons felt like they were tearing loose from the bones. Yeow!
Fortunately OG is an old hand at athletic injuries as a result of running track and playing football in high school. He diagnosed over-stretched hamstrings, slapped an ice pack on the worst one, and prescribed ibuprofen. Ever the good patient, I complied and it seems to be working. I can climb stairs, and I successfully managed to shave my legs in the shower. I'll take a couple of days off to heal and see how I do.
I have no experience with sports injuries (can you count yoga as a sport?). I've never broken a bone or even sustained a serious sprain. As a result, the pain took me by surprise. At first I simply chose to ignore it. I'm used to discomfort going away if I ignore it. After all, I'm young, fit, and flexible. Right?
Not so much. For the first time, I have to face the fact that my body is aging and learn to listen to it. I need to accept it--maybe even learn to like it. More important, I need to learn to take care of it. One of the most sobering realizations of reaching the mid-century mark is that we only have one body, and we have to live with and adjust to whatever happens to it. I'll keep exercising every day because I want to remain as active as possible for as long as possible, but I'll treat my body with the kindness it deserves. We have a long way to go together.