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.