Looking Forward

My husband and I always talk about what we want to see happen in a new year. Nevertheless, I was surprised to hear him say that this year he wanted to work on being healthy.

It isn’t that we don’t work on being healthy. We do. But we have found that the demands on our time have not decreased in middle age. What has changed is the people who demand our time and the ability of our bodies to respond.

Neither of us are surprised that we are 50+. We are sort of surprised, though, at how young we feel inside, and we are sometimes frustrated with our body’s ability to keep up. No matter how you want to view it, it seems to me that twenty-somethings have more energy. So how do you compensate?

With that in mind, we worked with our daughter, who is a registered kinesiotherapist, on exercises that would benefit our “core” strength. Now, I am no expert, but the daughter got me started on crunches last summer because I found my middle-aged middle discouraging, and I like what the crunches have done to it. Not only that, but my whole body feels stronger since I have done them. I am willing to try more.

We were working on our legs. Abductors, quadriceps? I forget what she called them. The daughter is quite the taskmaster, though, and she got us through the first set. We were appalled at how hard the exercises were, but the daughter said lots of people have poor core strength and that she had seen lots of people our age and younger who could do less. God bless her! She has always been an optimist.

The way I view it, getting older is inevitable, but I want to do it the best way that I can, and I would prefer, if God is willing, to do it with my husband by my side. So we start 2006 with a new set of exercises which, no doubt, the taskmaster will be exasperated with next time we demonstrate them for her. But we will learn. Maybe we will even learn how to balance on the ball, something which is beyond me at this point.

My husband and I have passed some of the hurdles adult life has to offer. Our children are raised and on their own or working on it. Our house is paid for. Our retirement looks as secure as any retirement does any more. Staying healthy is a way to broaden our horizons.

This is what Robert Browning wrote about growing old:

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!'”

My husband and I want the whole thing. We are trusting God. And we’re working on the rest.

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