As I was doing the side-lying leg-scissors exercises today, my mind raced back to the times when I was in my late teens in my small-town Bengal home doing the same exercise while watching a Jane Fonda aerobics video tape.
Dressed in my cheap leotards that I had bought after scouting the market, I had been huffing and puffing while lifting my leg high and marveling at the ease with which La Fonda did it.
Here I was today, in my late 40s, exercising with a smoothness and vigor that even made me smile. Is it the same me? How is it possible that I have more energy and agility at an age when things are supposed to slow down? When exactly did I make the switch from someone who needed to be kicked in the ass to do any kind of sports to someone who feels rather down if she misses her fitness routine? More importantly, what exactly brought about this tectonic change?
Defining My Own Version of Fitness
A Newer Me
This was the first change that happened and of course, it was a rather expensive change as it meant an upheaval of my wardrobe. The winter coats and dresses became bags and had to be replaced straightaway. My sartorial preferences changed as I began to enjoy wearing fitted clothing that looked rather smart. The silhouette changed and so did my carriage and posture with it. There was a new found confidence in me and suddenly the financial drainage in getting a new wardrobe didn’t matter anymore.
Well, this is just about the shallow end of the pool. Let me sketch out the changes that happened at the deep end and you’ll see what fitness can do to the body and mind.
More than Skin Deep
What came next was enhanced stamina and an increased level of energy in my body. I live in a house that has 4 floors and I had taken to wondering if we needed to move out into a flat to ease our aging knees and joints. But that was BEFORE I worked towards being more fit.
The thought about downsizing my living space took a backseat as I started hopping up and down the stairs with an agility that still amazes me! In fact, I have begun to look at the stairs and staircases as an exercising opportunity now.
Overall, there’s a general surge of energy in my body and mind. When I do my rebounding routine on the mini trampolines, it feels good to notice in the big mirrors in the gym, the kind of endurance I have today as compared to what I did years ago.
Do Tough Days Still Happen?
On top of that, there’s a general feeling of empowerment and confidence in my body and mind - and that’s something that’s priceless and inexplicable; I wouldn’t exchange it for any material things in this world. It’s also worth mentioning the sexual confidence that one achieves in the process.
Everything that has happened to me in my fitness journey, started in my mind, like most other things do. The mind needed to be trained to follow the discipline that is necessary to stick to anything that isn’t easy. And at the end of the day, I’m proud to know that I’m mastering discipline so well.
And honestly, when you see so many good things happening to you, the journey ceases to be difficult and you begin to get immense satisfaction from it. Age becomes just a number. And it should be just a number for you too.
DISCLAIMER: If my blog sounds like I am a fitness guru or practitioner, nothing could be further from the truth. I am an ordinary 45+ woman who is happy to squeeze in some “me time” of fitness into my busy lifestyle. My aim is to achieve and maintain a certain level of self-reliance through fitness as I age.