You may know from reading these posts (Keep Learning post) that I do a lot of exercise — not to be a jock, rather to stay healthy. It’s for cardio (biking everywhere) and nerve health (weight machines). It doesn’t hurt that it helps me stay in my weight range (138-143 lbs; I’m 5’8″, so this is close to “ideal,” whatever that means).
Two-and-a-half months ago, I was kicked in the thigh by a horse, just above the kneecap (thank goodness). As a result, I was unable to bend my leg very well for 3 weeks, and therefore unable to ride my bike, use many of the weight machines, or do my evening stretches. Awful. Of course, much worse things happen to many people; I’m merely noting that for me, this was awful.
I quickly started feeling logy, my energy level was diminished. And I quickly gained a couple of pounds. Moreover, I missed being on my bike zooming around in the fresh air, ringing my bell at passers-by. I missed riding up to the gym for a workout. And without my evening stretches, my whole body tightened up quite a bit (and I’m pretty tight in the first place).
After three weeks, I was gradually able to resume pedaling, and this was a relief. Things started to improve, and then I had several trips during which I had no bike or gym access — walked a lot, but that’s all. Fun trips, but didn’t help with getting back to “normal.”
The takeaway for me was the quick realization that one’s “normal” state of being, where everything works and is humming along, can disappear in an instant (how long it took the horse to kick me). Just imagine the nightmare had the horse kicked me an inch higher and shattered my kneecap!!!
When you’re very young (say up until 40), health is often taken for granted. Closing in on 62 (still young!), I’m keenly aware of how important health is and how fragile it is. “Health is Everything” has been said by many — and they’re right: it is the sine qua non, for sure.
Another instance came to mind that I’ve blogged about on these pages: the time I hurt my wrist badly playing tennis (badly) and couldn’t play my beloved piano for six months (Enjoying the Arts — Now That There’s Time post). This was the first occasion that the ephemeral nature of good health really hit me hard.
The message must be DO EVERYTHING WHILE YOU CAN, and take good care of your health so you can do it as long as possible! Healthy food and exercise is where it’s at.
Oh, and 10 weeks after the horse kicked me, I was able to do a full squat this week, my weight’s back to normal, my bike is in constant use, and I’m back to being able to my full weight machine regimen. Aaaaaah.