Middle age…yikes, how long does it really last?
I’ve been fighting this middle age “condition” for a while now, and so far, so good. There are the occasional aches and pains in the morning, but as the day goes on, I feel pretty darn good. Here is why…just 3 pieces of advice, or my own personal remedies, to offer to you:
It all begins with that Move thing. I head upstairs to the “Y” Cycle Room, alone, on a spin bike, lights off, fan on high, water bottle nearby, and it’s just me and my good friends Billy Joel, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, The Eagles, Sir Paul McCartney and a host of other musical motivators in my head. Before I know it, I’m done with my 20-30 minutes of song – and sweat (which is why I refuse to take a group class…it’s all about vanity!).
When I head downstairs to change, rinse off and head into the pool, I modify my swim workout by mixing up strokes (yes, including an entire 25 yards of butterfly), and using fins and a kickboard. There is also plenty of stretching out before and after my swim, and NO flip turns (see my previous blog). I also don’t swim what would be considered a “decent” Masters swim workout, which up here, is about 3,000 yards, and 3 times per week – at 5:30 am! My yardage is cut in half and supplemented by my cycling and lots of walking (no running).
Then…there is my “other” exercise, if you want to call it that. It’s called golf. Sadly, I only play once, sometimes twice per week in an afternoon ladies’ 9-hole league. While I keep my step tracker nearby since we walk the 9 holes, my golf game is, well, just not up to par. Me, the former college athlete who is always competitive and should have a simply fantastic golf game – is just terrible! Clinics and frequent advice from my husband and son (who is currently a D-1 golfer) help somewhat, but it’s the consistency that is lacking, and I just don’t play with enough frequency to improve and look like this:
So, Caroline, Don’t Complain! You have no one to blame but yourself. You had your rear end handed to you in league last week by a remarkable woman named Cara Cahill. Cara plays 36 holes of golf EVERY DAY, and it’s reflected in her game. In fact, just yesterday, Cara decided to celebrate the Summer Solstice by playing 100 – yes 100 – holes of golf at our club.
Oh, did I mention Cara has been fighting Lyme disease for the past 14 years?
This is where Be Thankful comes into play. Cara has worked very hard from being confined to a walker and unable to even crack an egg open to walking unassisted and hitting a very accurate ball. She has a wonderful outlook on life and is truly a fighter. When I briefly visited her on the course yesterday (she had to start at 6:30 a.m.) she was teeing off on her 68th hole, wearing a big smile, and was just happy to be outside enjoying the perfect weather and conditions. Flanked by her husband and her mother (who also is her league partner and hits a mean ball), Cara continued on her way down the fairway, loving all that life has given her, including a wonderful support system through family and friends.
Combine these 3 ingredients and chances are you’ll have the recipe for a healthy and long life. If you don’t swim, walk. If you can’t walk, try a bike, or put some of your favorite music on (loud!) and dance away for a half hour at home. Tell your family you love them. Brush your dog and then give him a treat. Buy some colorful flowers and put them in the center of your kitchen table. Think about what Cara has endured and feel blessed you don’t have Lyme disease, or some other debilitating condition. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy your time here – and now.