You know that spot about halfway up your shin where the muscle hugs the tibia? No, of course not, because I didn’t know that spot could hurt either, but it does now! I won all three games today, but I can barely walk. My right toe feels broken (it’s not, just sore toe muscles), my knees are screaming on the outside, and my back is going to ache just as bad when I wake up tomorrow. I’m not old! I don’t know what happened. I run. I lift. I’m active, but now, an hour of pickleball and I feel 80.
This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. It did.
In high school I would finish cross country season in early November right as basketball began. I was in the shape of my life, yet during basketball conditioning I would almost puke. There are different types of “in shape” and I seem to be better at the slow and steady kind. I often wonder how my joints will (continue to) hold up over the years. I played three sports from 6 straight years grades 7-12, and was just as active before and after high school. I’m not sure what kind of DNA I come from. My father’s parents didn’t live very long, but my mother’s thrived through their 80s. I guess it’s up to how well I take care of myself.
There was a time when I considered myself out of shape. I wasn’t overweight, but I had no muscle tone or cardio fitness. It was when I took my first professional job at a bank. I ate 3 donuts most mornings (the tellers went and got them…$1.89). I didn’t lift. I didn’t run. On the rare occasions when I ran to my car in the rain, I remember thinking, “Oh yeah, this.” Right before NYE heading into 2004 I got a gym membership and started lifting again. I’ve been pretty steady since, even when it meant sneaking into gyms on expired passes (right as I moved to STL in ’05).
Now I’m not motivated to lift. Or run. Just pickleball on the weekends. I still workout, but it’s only 2-3 times a week and I don’t enjoy it. I don’t want to lose too much though. The older you get, the harder it is to get back into something, right? I’m blessed with legs that work, so I need to keep using them.
If you’re not into fitness at this point in your life, I don’t blame you. There are so many other priorities and your body is still like a new car in its first year. You can even pour sugar in the gas tank and it’ll work. (Nice, metaphor Durham) So many things won’t seem interesting until your late 20s. It’s weird. I hit 28 and all of a sudden I loved to read and work out. And cry about aesthetics.
You think, it won’t happen to me. I won’t be like that. Just like when you were little and the opposite sex (or same sex if you’re gay) didn’t excite you all that much. Then it all changes.
Enjoy the journey and when priorities alter because of age, don’t fight it.