Thursday, October 3, 2013

Limping as I Go

On my hike, last week I climbed  a mountain.  It was a great hike and I found my vistas however the whole time I knew I was pushing too hard.

It is something I find myself dealing with more and more.  As I have gotten older and more injuries I have been confronting limitations that I never experienced before.

Is this the normal process of aging or just limitations due to inactivity that can be pushed past with hard work.  I do not know but I certainly felt the pain these last few days.  And it makes me sad and frustrated.  I chose to do the activity knowing that I will pay a painful price for a few days or chose not to and miss the activities that give me joy.

I make different choices based on the day or how I'm feeling but I have never had to confront this before.

I never gave it much thought before.... until it was me limping.  I know that sounds shallow and unfeeling.  But it is also honest.  Lately I have wondered if people limp because pain causes them to wince and essentially get off the pained limb more quickly or is it caused by a contracture of a tendon or ligament causing the muscle to be unable to move to the normal length and gait or maybe a cause that I haven't even considered.

Getting older is something not often talked about in polite society.  Oh sure, people talk about their aches and pains. I certainly have participated in my share of whiny monologues.  But I know that I haven't heard people REALLY talk about the process of aging.

I haven't heard the talks about the disparity between what their mind and soul wants to do and the reality their aching body dictates.  I haven't heard people talk about coping with the issues of adjusting to the differences is the way people interact with us as we age and our abilities are changing. Mostly while missing out on these exchanges we walk through these changes without the knowledge and support that comes from open and frank discussions often bring.    

Living in a three generation household has provided me opportunity to see, and feel these differences up close.  I certainly have no meaningful insights to share at this point. My granddaughter has all the energy and exuberance that youth has to offer.  She often leaves Auntie and I in her dust as we explore our universe.  I am grateful that she likes to go with us on our outings.

I remember a book that came out when my daughters were reaching puberty... "Our Bodies, Our Selves".    It explored the changes that teenage bodies and minds were going through in an open and factual way along with teens and young peoples thoughts as they experienced the changes.

Have I missed the update for us as we are aging,
                 or is it yet another taboo subject that remains hidden.

Yep, Our Bodies, our minds are a changing.......


  1. What a wonderful idea for a book based on that great one Our Bodies Our Selves. The problem with aging however is that unlike puberty, we don't all go through basically the same sort of changes. I'm not sure what it is that makes them all so different but it's amazing the difference in people in different decades. My fifties weren't much different than my 40's but some people I know had great differences. My 60's are turning out to be much different than my 50's. Why? I have no idea. I'm more active than many people my age but I am much more physically cautious now than I've ever been since I've broken my ankle twice and I am very careful to listen when it tells me that something is wrong. I used to just blow through things, but not any more. What I hate more than anything though is to be told "oh that's aging". Not everything is aging. If I were 10 years younger the medical profession wouldn't say that. I sympathize with you totally and appreciate this thoughtful topic. Hope you get some great comments on it.

  2. Go to, click Books, then under search enter "aging." There are some very thoughtful books as well as books that study aging. For example: "Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development;" "Aging by Design: How New Thinking on Aging Will Change Your Life," and "Aging: Concepts and Controversies," "Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well Being" (to name a few).

    I think I need to read some of those! I'll be 61 in November. I'm with Sherry on being much more physically cautious since my faceplant fall a year ago. I watch where I'm going like a hawk...BUT I haven't stopped going.

    Thanks for the well-written blog.

  3. I think it's all about our body development and heritage. I too used to hike and I do mean hike. But now I am lucky to walk the dog. I have had both knees complete make over, my hips hurt like the devil. Yep I feel a lot older than my 66 yrs. I can tell you. To much abuse on the body, not enough warming up first. Who knows. But it stinks my mind says lets go the body say NO. But I still try.

  4. It's a tough call trying to figure out when to push yourself without causing permanent injury or a setback. I am a big believer in being active, partly because I enjoy it and also I am afraid that one day all too soon I will no longer be able to do the kind of hiking and biking that keeps me going both mentally and physically. Probably not good advice for most but I just pop a couple Motrin and keep on hiking;)

  5. I wanted to comment on your excellent entry, but my fingers are too sore from this dang arthritis... :)

  6. Woe is me !.. I enjoyed reading your comments and I get my flash backs from time to time and reaching 70 I'm amazed I made it..all the things I use to be able to do..heck I'm thankful for just being able to get up and about..Who'd ever think this aging process would bring so many surprises..Now I'm just thankful for Medical Research..and fond memories..Are the days growing shorter or is it just ME..?...God Bless

  7. Maybe you just need to build up the muscles, slow and steady for awhile before taking a longer, steeper trail. I know that if I am inactive for a week or two that it will take time to get back to longer walks and hikes.

  8. Funny you mention that book. As I was unpacking my books earlier today I found my copies of Our Bodies Ourselves, the New Our Bodies Ourselves, and, wait for it... Ourselves, Getting Older. I haven't looked at it in probably at least 10 years (may have been packed away that long...), but they did put it out just like you had wondered.

  9. hmmmm... that's a subject for a whole 'nuther blog... and several books. Too often I think, people stop living, because "I'm too old for that now."

    Truth is, you're never too old... until you're dead.

    I've been walking around with a dislocated (25%) spine since 1981... so when people complain about that this aches or that, while they sit in their recliner adding another ten pounds on potato ships and bon bons... I kinda turn a deaf ear.

    I can do ANYTHING I ever did... maybe a bit slower... but most times I find I can still outrun most others... and it's because of attitude. The mind is far more powerful than any muscle. It's attitude and a refusal to lie down and quit that carries a person through and over.

    just my two cents...

  10. We do have more limitations as we get older, but we can still get out there and enjoy life. I'm real proud of you. I want to be one of these ladies that sits on her porch in her old age, with no regrets that I've wasted my time here on earth. You sound the same :)
    Your newest follower, Connie :)

  11. thankss for all the great comments... I haven't stopped moving.... it's just filled with more pain than I am comfortable with :( I intend on keep moving. If I need a rocking chair it had better fit in the trailer!

    I'm working on some strengthening exercises and plan on keeping hiking(there is where the feeling of urgency comes in) just as long as I can.

    Welcome aboard Connie!!