Working out when you are over 50, but your mind thinks you are still in high school.
Yesterday I rode the Metro and it wasn’t quite as momentum-charged as the previous day. The ride was comfortable and not stressful, but it was no longer new and exciting but still good. So my mind drifted to how I was feeling and I realized my legs were tired from the extra walking to and from the Metro stop in the afternoon and my workout in the morning. It got me thinking about my path towards taking care of myself.
Just over two years ago I started working out at a local gym in Pasadena. I had just turned 52 and I was feeling somewhat desperate because I had nerve pain in my back regularly that would radiate into my lower back and thighs. My program was three days a week with a mixture of strength training and conditioning that did wonders for my core and back.
However, about six months into the program I started to feel great about my progress but I also started to feel competitive at the gym. Apparently, I did not receive the memo that I was over 50 and no longer in high school. I made the mistake of trying to do too much too soon. I treated my body like I was 18. I did not respect the fact that many gym members had been at this much longer than I had and they had put in the time. Stubbornly, I tried to do more than I could and I tore a tendon in my right elbow. It took about 9 months to heal. The ironic part was that now I could only lift weights with my right arm that were about 4 lbs. I should have heeded the words of Ice Cube and when he said “Checkity check yo self before you wreck yo self”.
I had to learn to trust in others and be patient. Working out on a regular basis has changed the way I feel about myself. If you made a New Year resolution that includes exercise I am cheering you on! It is the best thing that I’ve done in the last several years. Just remember:
Everyone is different. Do what you can do. Treat your body kindly. Be you.
You will get results.