Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Than Just the Motions

I wore motorcycle boots to Barb's party on Sunday. With black tights, a knee-length black pencil skirt, a long, gray swing-jacket, and the peacock blue scarf. My hairstylist niece punked out my hair for me and I wore big silver hoop earrings. I may have looked a bit eccentric, but I felt like my true self. I am still 55 and still more than a few pounds overweight, but I have started dressing like I feel. 

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.


Deb Shucka said...

I love the confidence and life in this piece. You sound so much like the woman you describe in your profile. You sound fully present. I'm honored to be growing older with you, and to be doing it to the fullest. Because we can, we will. Love.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Yes, you can! Love Deb's words of wisdom, and good on you for heeding them!

OMG, the word verification is "preen."

Go Mama said...

Damn right! Go Mama!

Barb is over there laughing with JOY!

BONNIE K said...

Good words! As far as I'm concerned, anyone who partakes in any exercise at all is a hell of a lot better than me.

fullsoulahead.com said...

Of course you can.

You must.


luckyzmom said...

..."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."
I am blown away!
I am going to memorize this.
I am going to copy this over and over.
I am going to tape up this quote everywhere.
I am going to make the most of it.

Amber said...

yes you can! do it do it.