Communication breakdown between brain and body

A friend wrote in her Christmas card that after retirement she decided to return to a former passion that lasted from childhood through her teenage years, namely, ballet.  After only two sessions, she had to admit that her body was not prepared for the pain, knew that she couldn’t afford injuries at this point in her life, and gave it up.  I could easily identify with her situation.  My body and my brain are in total disagreement about what the former can do.   When I don’t look in the mirror nothing tells me that I’m aging. I always feel confident that I can do at this age whatever I could do at an earlier age.

This week I got a cortisone shot in each shoulder.  I have a slight rotator cuff flaw that gets me in trouble, whenever I lift something too heavy (my cat, for example), or take aerobics classes that require arm flinging.  But that’s not all.  If I try to regularly walk at a fast pace I get Achilles tendonitis.  I don’t intend this to be a litany of my aches and pains, but more of an illustration of the disconnect between what I believe I should be able to do, physically, and what I seem to be able to.  It’s a very odd experience to feel young and healthy and then get such contrary signals.

However, I feel like Charlie Brown who continues to believe, no matter how many times Lucy pulls the football out from under him, that the next try will be different.  I haven’t given up hope of being able to try taiko drumming, waving my arms in the air in a zumba class, or returning to the weight machines for bicep and tricep curls.  And somehow my body has to get the message.  I just have to figure out a better way to transmit it.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
This entry was posted in aging and appearance, exercise, health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Communication breakdown between brain and body

  1. Audrey Bennett says:

    I am facing a very similar issue – though it’s more a matter of brain and…..brain. I’m trying to return to the career I abandoned in 1982, teaching. Back then I could stand on my feet for 12 hours and pull 2-word definitions out of my head without skipping a beat. I could talk to the student on my left while shushing the one on my right. I could quote long passages of several works of literature and spout any number of poems at will. Today, not so much. Oh, I have other qualities today: I can quiet a room with a serene look and I know quite a lot more about the maturation of teenagers. But I sure wish I could stay up past 9:30!!

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