Our Strength Fluctuates Over Time
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
'Some days we are up, and some days we are down, sometimes a half an inch of water and we think we are gonna drown.' Thanks to singer /songwriter John Prine for that line. It is our physical strength and endurance which we tend to put our faith in and rely upon. Yet both strength and endurance are equally, or much more related to our mental and emotional well being than to muscle capacity. I went for a short run yesterday on the treadmill in our fitness area. The object was to see how far i could go in 12 minutes. You may have heard the saying 'we are a rock star in our own mind." The power of our thought process is incredibly awesome, and most of the time we humans do not reach our potential. The other end of that self-assigned feedback loop in our brain does not say 'rock star', it often says 'I suck', or 'i am not worthy', or able, or capable, or any of the countless expressions we use in our own thought process which discounts our willingness and determination to engage and succeed. Prior to yesterday afternoon, it had been months since i had been on a run. My rock star brain thought i would crush the test and be in the mid 90's percentile, the reality being in the mid 70's percentile. My running form has slipped over time, naturally.
The reality of our lives suggest that there is literally a half an inch difference between swimming comfortably and taking in water and finding oneself in a dangerous situation. I've always enjoyed swimming in Lake Michigan, and for many years have had a delusional joy in swimming out over my head and then swimming back in. Well, one day last summer, I went out in high winds, big waves, an undertow and a rip current. It was delightful till the waves tired me out, and I was finding it difficult to swim toward shore. I came as close as i want to come to drowning. Normally as we age we lose muscle mass, if we are not moving regularly, we tend to loss more muscle and become weaker. This is happening in my life. Much of the reason remains my general unwillingness to engage in muscle building exercise. I've been contemplating my behavior, is it ok to slow down as i grow older, or am i just a lazy guy, and who cares!
For the past 11 years, my partner, Brendan and I have been building this practice to prioritize movement in the treatment of emotional health struggles, along with the use of more conventional and well grounded 'talk therapy'. Lots of change has happened over the pandemic. We have moved to an improved practice location. We have established a foundation which helps support individuals being able to work with our personal trainer and fitness director, Mike Z. We have a racing team that is preparing to run the Riverbank 5k coming up in May. And later in the month of May, there is a whiffle ball tournament with 16 teams. Now, my other partner, my spouse of many years, is nearing her 1400th day of consecutively reaching her fitness goals. And within two months will have reached the magic number of 1460, which will be 4 years of reaching daily fitness goals. It isn't easy having these two partners in my life. They both strive to be their best, and that takes work.
We create our better selves one day at a time, one step at a time. It isn't easy, and it is our only choice if we believe in ourselves and love ourselves enough to work hard to continue to strive to be our better self. Our practice wants to help you to be your best self, both physically, mentally and emotionally. we have a group of well trained clinicians to support your efforts at improved self care. Take the step you need today, to be that healthier self, no excuses.