If not now, when?
When we get to the last few reps of a difficult exercise, the sprite/woman who teaches my Saturday Lift class yells, "Say you can."
That little phrase has turned me loose. Whether it's one more rep, wearing boots with a short skirt to honor a woman who LOVED boots, or finishing a magazine story about an impossibly arrogant CEO, when I hear myself think, "I can't..." I consciously stop and listen for Linda's voice: "Say you can."
A few weeks ago Deb commented, "We have earned the right at our age to stop using torture to change ourselves." I listened to her wisdom and stopped going to the aerobics classes that feel like torture. Instead, I go to classes that challenge me without leaving me flat on my face on the floor.
I've learned that I can move my legs up and down, or I can push off the pool floor with intention and power. I can walk around a lake as usual, or I can throw my legs a little beyond my normal range of motion and feel each stride in a new way. I can move the barbell up and down, or I can squeeze my shoulder blades at the top of each dead lift and discover muscles I'd forgotten.
It's got to be about more than going through the motions. Weight lifting, dressing, eating, living, loving.... In everything, the juice—the improvement—the joy—lies in the difference between simply doing it and embracing it.
Some people (my mother, my sister, and maybe even my daughter) would say I'm too old to wear tights and boots. They could be right, but I'll never be younger than I am right now. I have been granted the privilege of growing older, and I'm going to make the most of it.
Because I can.