Conversation between my grandma and some of my family at lunch while I was in Michigan for Easter:
Grandma: “I’m going to start walking…Monday, after Easter.”
All of us: “Good for you Grandma! Get out there! Go get em!”
My cousin Nicole: “Grandma, do you even have shoes to wear for walking?”
Grandma: “Yes! Of course. They are still in the box from when I bought them from Lady Footlocker when Aunt Kristi worked there.”
(Note: Aunt Kristi has not worked at Lady Footlocker since 1994. Meaning my grandma has not gone for a walk in at least 18 years. Second note: I love you Grandma and I’m very proud you are beginning to exercise!)
Last weekend, I went home to Michigan for Easter to spend a much needed weekend with my family. Although my mom was very concerned about my knee on the plane (not concerned enough to get me an aisle seat), it was totally fine. I had enough leg room to do ankle pumps and stretch my legs. I had packed in my carry on the knee brace against my will- Amber and Dr. Pete both recommended I wear it at Tigers Opening Day because of the crowds and the hazard known as thousands of drunk people. My friend Lisa also recommended I wear the knee brace so we could get a seat at the crowded bars out of pity. Ok, I will do it for the bar seat.
Just frolicking through Detroit with my knee brace.
The Michigan weather was surprisingly good. Usually, I wake up to overcast skies or rain and it was sunny and nice the whole time. My favorite game to play while driving around in Michigan is to point out the scarce amount of people exercising. I see a jogger and yell out “look at that guy, good for him!” My family gets extremely annoyed and Lauren even left me saying she doesn’t want to hear the word “exercise” for a very long time. I have been especially aware of it lately because I can’t exercise the way I used to right now, so I am extra sensitive to all of the able bodied people around me who are not active. (Yes, this includes you Grandma! Although it is Tuesday…so should be Day 2, right?)
Opening Day was a success in that I did not get trampled by any drunk people, trip on my own shoes (always a risk I take anytime I so much as get out of bed) and watched the Tigers pull out a win from the comforts of my bar stool thanks to the pity of the knee brace. A couple of times I tried to ditch that horrible device in the streets, but my friends always picked it up with disapproving shake of their head and made me put it back on. We had to walk about 15 minutes to the car after the festivities. On the flat streets of Detroit. I was winded. It was depressing.
Some of my besties in Detroit for one of my favorite days all year, Opening Day. Sidenote: The Tigers swept the Red Sox. RARRR!!
All in all, the trip home was great. I managed to switch my seat on the way back to a window so at least I could stretch out and even have a little head-bobbing sleep session on the 6am flight back. The “medicine” of family and lifelong friends is something that can’t be replaced or imitated and all of a sudden my knee is feeling better. My limp is almost unnoticeable I even found myself beginning to jog up the stairs today. (I stopped as soon as I realized what I was doing!) One of the PTs at The Awesomest Physical Therapy on the Planet said that 8 weeks out (I am 7 weeks out tomorrow) is when people do start to get hurt because they feel good and the mind feels like the body can do certain things that the knee might not be necessarily ready for yet. Needless to say, I am looking at purchasing a new road bike so that the second I get the green light to bike outside, I will be out on the open road.
Living in Aspen has given me the privilege to be surrounded by people who are, if anything, overly active. People who are motivated and think of exercise as just a part of their day. I have learned that that isn’t necessarily the case in the rest of the country. I thought about exercise and fitness fairly often while I was home. (I mean I work at a health club in one of the fittest areas of the country, can you blame me for having these thoughts?) I thought about my almost 90 year old grandfather who has trouble walking around the block- something that frustrates him to no end because he has been so active his whole life. Those of us who can’t exercise or at least in the way we want to. Then I thought about all of the people who say they don’t have time, they are too busy, they hate to do it. And then there are the people like my grandma, who want to start and all they have to do is pull the old shoes out of the box. (Assuming the 18 year old shoes are still intact.) I wish all I had to do was pull the shoes out of the box. I am sure my 90 year old grandfather wishes that too. For now, I will have to continue to take notice of the joggers in Michigan, live vicariously through my friends hiking up smuggler and encourage those around me to be active. Staying active is the key to staying young and living longer, I truly believe that. And everyone should have time for that. (Note: If you are entering what you might call the “Third Act of your Life,” I highly recommend you read the book, Younger Next Year. It just might change your life)
Man, I can’t wait for that road bike.