Cars and bodies

Live like you can

By Janis McDonald

Just yesterday, my old friend gave its last gasp and I had to drive with one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake all the way to the mechanic so it wouldn’t die. While I found it an interesting experience, I did realize my 25-year-old car needed even more regular attention than I have been giving it.

During my rather long drive, I had a chance to ponder the similarities between our cars and our bodies. They both take us where we want to go; we usually arrive at our destinations; we crank them up and turn them off as they patiently wait for us to pay attention.

My 1989 Blazer just sits in its parking space, waiting for me to turn the key and off I go. However, my car gets my instant attention when it decides not to start, therefore dashing all my plans.

A few years ago, my body provided me with a similar feeling of dread when my hip, which badly needed a hip replacement, finally said, “Enough procrastinating, I won’t work anymore.” Wow, this got my attention!

When our cars and bodies say enough, it puts an end to our plans and the issue we are having with our bodies becomes the focus of the day (or week or month).

As our cars and bodies age, they require more care and attention. Yet, it might be a time when the words in our head say, “I just want to retire, relax, take it easy” or “let’s trade this one in” or “just take me to the junk yard.”

When in fact, now is the time to work harder, perform maintenance more often, increase our awareness and commit extra time to taking care of our bodies (and cars) in order to keep them going well.

Here’s an example! Recently, a friend of a client told me she needed to start doing “something” because now when she stood up from a low chair, she had to ask people to look away!

While this statement cracked me up, I felt this was a powerful example of how the slow, gradual loss of our strength and grace can show up and surprise us one day.

The good news, it doesn’t have to be that way. Exercising to oil our joints, relieve stiffness, keep or build more strength, reduce the risk of falling and keeping our bodies in good working order are completely doable. And yes, it will take time and effort now to keep everything in working order.

During my health and fitness career, I have witnessed my clients going through many health crises, doctor warnings, desires to travel with energy and ease, falling down, can’t get up accidents and wanting a body that doesn’t die before they do. These reasons can be wake-up calls to start doing “something!”

In fact, my old car conking out reminded me that lately I have let my body rest (or rust) while my schedule busted at the seams. For me, it is time to check under the hood!

For you, it might be time to just do something and that something might be to start with my 10-minute simple posture improvement program. Just follow my blog and receive my program.

Janis McDonald is a longtime resident of SMA, Owner of Private Training Gym, Certified Wellness Coach. Live Like You Can is a twice monthly column on wellness, functional aging, fitness and optimal living, illustrated by inspiring stories of local people, points to ponder on positive aging and ways to feel better


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