Went for a walk today and watched dogs tearing around grassy fields in the spring sunshine with big, wide grins on their faces & it got me to thinking about the expectation of movement as adults. Once, you were a kid, and you loved to get exercise. You had no conception of calories or diets, so it wasn’t “work”, as many adults now see exercise. You might have formed a dysfunctional view of adult life by being a bystander to diet/exercise culture, but no matter. You also might have been, like me, a bookish kid who was always drawing something, but you still probably tore around the yard, neighborhood, living room, too. At some point, we start to view movement differently, and I’d like to roll back the years so we could get that joy back.
Some of you may be familiar with my mom, the #turkishgetupgrandma, who is almost 81 and learning to move & develop strength in new ways. We started working on the Turkish Get Up back in January, and are still working with it. We are also starting to work on a SUP (stand up paddle board) workout, as of this week. What’s really nice is that she’s already got a lot of the cross-body coordination needed for a complex movement like balancing on a paddle board while using the oar. That came from the Turkish Get Up!
So the workout I posted last week ends up being less of a necessity than I thought, because she’s already strong and mostly agile enough — in her early 80s. Now the workout has become more of a fun way to check for areas where some strengthening or smoother movement would be preferable. What we’re also doing is anticipating any overload to areas that already have had some trouble. Mom’s had a trick knee since last year, so we’re working on getting it stronger and checking it in mildly unstable situations…why? Because when you’ve gone through the trouble of driving to a reservoir, inflating your SUP, and getting out onto the water, the last thing you want is to cut the trip short because you tweaked your knee doing something really minor. You want to get out on the water & stay there!
If you make your body ready for unsteady ground, if you practice movement at different levels and in different directions, you help train your body and your brain for challenging work ahead. Your brain likes that, your body likes that…there’s no loser there. And everything you do to build new movement patterns safely & sensibly over time will allow you to do new things much more easily, and recover faster.
Look, when you’re a kid – everything’s great. You bounce like a rubber ball, you are flexible as anything, you don’t get too tired, and you have tons of energy. A part of you wants to have that feeling forever…it’s not impossible at all. You have to put in the time, and the enjoyable work, of letting your body run free again. There’s a part of you that wants to be like those dogs in springtime, bounding across the grass, feeling the pure joy of the outdoors and movement. So…get out there!
If you want to understand how to do this in stages, or if you want to regain strength & mobility after cancer, get in touch. I firmly believe that movement is the key to better living, and that we all deserve that!