Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Unhealthy Obsessions

This looks just like a picture I took, but I had to take this from Wikipedia because all my phone pictures are rotated. Not sure why.


I ran along the Kal Haven trail in Southern Michigan, fuming. I had just been told that I had an unhealthy obsession with fitness and food, and that "bodies change. Embrace your new ass!" The speaker was a long distance friend, one who can be a gem because you never have to check your words and you always know what she is thinking. That can be a gift, especially with women, who tend to hint and get feelings hurt. The flipside is that with friends like these, you get to hear exactly what they think.

Where I'm visiting right now, daily exercise isn't a priority for everyone. I am probably the eccentric relative who years later, it will be recalled, swam halfway around the lake, took numerous walks, and ran on the Kal-Haven trail. At home, I am surrounded by a unique community where seventy year olds shred it on the slopes and people are always talking about their next run or day hike. So it's always an awakening to come to a different place and see that most people don't live that way. It's not wrong, it's just that for me, if I don't exercise six days a week, my body doesn't feel right. 

Obsession? Maybe. I tend to think people call it that when they know they could be doing more, but don't want to. I certainly don't exercise as much as some people I know. I don't run ultras, race across the continent on a bike, or even run marathons anymore. And as far as your body changing as you get older and you should accept it? Nope. Not happening. To me that is not an excuse. If things start to hurt or fail, I can see how that could slow a person down. But because I'm old, I should gain weight? No.

However, it didn't take long for the magical Kal-Haven to make my world right again. This trail is FLAT.It goes from Kalamazoo to Grand Haven, all 34 miles of it, and while I was only running a small part of it (see? so not obsessed), I had forgotten what it was like to run a completely flat trail. And at sea level! So easy! 

I wondered what kind of person I would be if I had met my husband years ago and he was still living here. I wouldn't be a long distance hiker, because those opportunities just don't exist here. Nearly every morning I swam across the lake and back. Would I be a swimmer instead? Would I have kept running marathons? For now it's just dipping into a world that I did not choose.

I came to my turning point, near the town of Bloomingdale, and headed back. As always the act of running made me feel better. Obsessed? Maybe. But I'll take it. 

16 comments:

  1. Ouch! Your "long-distance friend" should really say what's on her mind...oh, wait, she just did. Maybe more about herself than about you? I agree (from a more advanced age than you) that most everyone could be active at some level and we make choices. Fitness and good food choices ((IMHO) make one feel better and do better. You go, girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What she said doesn't really bother me, except that you have to accept gaining weight. I don't agree.

      Delete
  2. I agree we shouldn't use our age as an excuse. I think most folks don't get near enough exercise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've found the older you get, the harder you have to push. You don't have to get in shape if you never get out of it.

      Delete
    2. You should coin that phrase Mary.

      Delete
  3. I've found that many people are oblivious to the life outside of work, home, shopping . . They get in their cars, drive to work (in the dark many months out of the year), hide inside a windowless building all day, drive home (in the dark), spend their evenings and weekends doing chores or hanging out in more indoor places. We are a rare breed. We see healthy fit people of all ages pushing the limits. I'm sure both our views are skewed. I like ours better :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do too, I can't imagine a day without doing some kind of exercise. Maybe that's odd, but I'm a better person for it. I'd hurt people otherwise (kidding, kidding)

      Delete
  4. You go girl, lol. One thing up here in Alaska and I'm sure you know, most of many of us don't care what people think or say, we just except what is. I don't run, work out in a gym, ride a bike or whatever. I do try to eat healthy, wild game, wild vegetables, fish and fowl. At 68 years old, I cut my own firewood, haul water, use an outhouse in -40 weather and haul weights many youngsters can't or won't. You just keep doing what you're doing. Oh yeah, you look great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, John! Haha, Use an outhouse in -40 weather! You are tough! I'm not entirely sure about that one!

      Delete
  5. Some people are "obsessed" with watching America's Got Talent every week. To each their own, I say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! You're right! Or with football, and I don't get that either...

      Delete
  6. I just watched a bunch of Ironman-ers bike down the highway I was crossing. They were most likely on the outbound leg of their 2nd lap on a 112 mile ride. The temp today in that area at that time was 102°. This tells me...You my friend are NOT obsessed! You know your Happy Medium and that is exercising 6 days a week. I only wish to look as good as you do when I'm your same age. You know what you love, and what your body is capable of, as well as the strength to challenge yourself. Glad you are able to to clear the sting of words with a run on a Flat trail. Enjoy what you can as long as you can without any regrets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim! I agree: there are plenty of people more obsessed than I am! Keep it up and you will look great when you are a geezer like me! Haha!

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Hello out there. If you liked this post, please leave a comment so I keep writing!