“Take care of your body; it is the only place you have to live.”–Jim Rohn
The Good Old Days
When I was younger, I would get up at 5 a.m. I would snap wide awake and leap out of bed before the alarm rang. Heading to the gym, I would gleefully anticipate my workout. Taking part in the morning boot camp, where a trainer put us through grueling strength and cardio exercises, made my day. I looked forward to this daily torment.
I admit to being the annoying brownnoser in the class, often walking up to the front to showcase my strength and dexterity while clapping loudly. Loving it when the trainer would jump off the platform during one of my favorite routines, letting me lead. Counting the pushups for a newbie was a thrill. Sometimes, when the class was large, she pressed me into service to help others to achieve perfection in their techniques. My body was a fine-tuned machine; I was proud of what it could do.
Once I finished beating the hell out of my body (discipline, baby!), I would head home, shower, get dressed, and head to work ready for the day. Sometimes, I would grab a piece of fruit or a protein bar to eat on the way. Once at my job, I would work a 60-to-80-hour week. Come back ready to do it all again.
My New Reality
Compare this with today, after ten months of coronavirus isolation. I wake up in increments. No longer swimming to the top of my consciousness with my mind sharp, I float up and open one eye. Reaching over, I pick up my phone, peer at it, then press the snooze button. The snooze button will be hit at least three times before I attempt to leave the bed.
First, I take an inventory of aches and pains; what will give me trouble today? Will it be my hip? No, it must be my shoulder’s turn. I stretch as much as I can without moving, then swing my legs over the edge of the bed. Like an old car, I’m warming up to head to the bathroom.
Once I stand, my back will speak loudly. Stop, it will say, Stop. I’ll grab my back with both hands and walk it to the bathroom. I and my back will tussle until I take my medication. Since I like to walk (read stroll) in the mornings, I’ll slowly wash my face and comb my hair, making sure not to piss off my shoulders. If I piss my shoulders off, I’ve got to get my husband to rub out the kinks, then rub the painkilling gel into the muscles after I shower. I wish I had an oil can like the tin man in The Wizard of Oz to loosen up my joints.
Usually, my ankles will make a statement by trying to swell as soon as my feet hit the floor. This morning, my ankles are slim and ready to walk; my shoulders and hips do not hurt; my back is manageable. All the usual suspects have gotten in line to let me have a good morning walk.
A Surprise Guest
Wait. Today we have a surprise guest; my calves are making a statement. Yesterday, I took an extra-long walk since it was such a beautiful day. My left calf is filing a loud protest. The calf drops me to my knees with a cramp as I call for my spouse to come and rub it out. He does, looking at me from under his eyelashes. I limp my way to my bed and climb in. I reach into my nightstand and take two Tylenol, think about it, and add two Advil, laying down after I do so. I’m going back to sleep for a while.
These days, if I went to the boot camp class, I would be the stiff woman in the back, barely following along. The trainer would send someone to give me a hand; counting the pushups to help me focus. Oh, well. What goes around comes back around. When I wake up, this body will be better, I hope, as I close my eyes to dream of better days.
My husband says I sleep like a goat in a burlap bag.
We have a beautiful pair of red sheets that only we use every now and then. Why? Because I slobber on the pillowcases…
Toni Crowe retired to pursue her dream of being a writer. Toni has written six books. Her bestselling business book, ‘Bullets and Bosses Don’t Have Friends’ won a Gold Readers Award.