aging · Sat with Nat

Nat realizes she is high maintenance!

Honestly, I forget I have a high maintenance body. It’s only when I meet new people and see their genuine shock at what I do to keep my body feeling good that I realize I’m high maintenance.

I strive to walk every day. My walking commute helps me manage my stress and incorporate movement in my life in a manageable way. My partner is also a fan of a post-evening meal stroll. I also walk on my Wednesday lunches with two dear friends who happen to be colleagues. We laugh, catch up and enjoy the beautiful park near our work.

I play rec league soccer once a week with other colleagues. I play defense and am the second oldest player on the team. (Right Sue?)

Lately I’ve been back on my bike on the weekends in preparation for our local MS Bike Tour. I love cycling. It’s the one activity I do that gives me a big endorphin boost. These days 40 km is enough to get that lovely feeling.

Twice a week I’m doing weights at lunch with another colleague at the little gym onsite. We joke about how pumped we are getting. I’m trying to manage some tennis elbow & shoulder pain that has been nagging me.

Sometimes, not as much lately, I go to yoga on Sundays. In the nice weather I’m much more likely to be out in my garden digging, dividing and weeding. Turns out it’s a lot of squats and wheelbarrow dead lifts!

With all this movement surely I look like a shredded, buff, lean woman? Oh heck no. All this movement is just enough to support my mobility and mental health. I’m so high maintenance!

I’m very thankful I can do all these things that involve movement and often great company. I feel confident in what my body can do and don’t really feel any compulsion to abide by anyone else’s ideas of what I should or should not be doing.

I joke with friends that in my mid-forties I get to choose: pain from lack of movement or pain from working out. The working out pain has a different texture and flavour. I feel kind of badass as I limp around the day after soccer.

I’m fairly sure I can only achieve this level of activity thanks to regular massage, chiropractic, a night guard, good footwear, blood pressure medication and a CPAP machine.

Have you ever been surprised by others reactions to your activity level? I’d love to hear about it. Natalie smiles into the camera without makeup or jewelry

What high maintenance looks like!

9 thoughts on “Nat realizes she is high maintenance!

  1. I applaud your conscientious effort for movement every day and how you embrace your high maintenance lifestyle! You are absolutely right that you have a choice of how you are going to deal with pain. Either create it by walking, bending, squatting, running, biking, yoga or be sedentary. No matter the method you will feel pain in your body sooner or later. Personally, I find I prefer the active pain rather than the sedentary pain.
    Keep moving, keep living your definition of personal happiness, and you will continue to reap the benefits of joy and satisfaction for years to come.

  2. I gain weight when I’m depressed and stressed and since both my parents died, my husband left me, and I moved to a new country to work on a PhD, I’ve been a little depressed and stressed. 🙂 I walk 2 miles every morning and don’t own a car so I get around by bike or by walking. With all my activity, I should be thin, but I’m just not. Maybe when my depression lifts, I’ll lose weight like that last time I had a deep depression, but that was 20 years ago and I’m in my 60s now, so who knows. The most important thing to do is keep moving as much as you can. Since I’m mostly sitting and reading and writing, I need to get up every 30 minutes just to move. Fortunately, the lights in my office are on a motion sensor that turns them off every 30 minutes! So it makes me get up and wave my arms at least.

  3. That’s great, Nat. No I haven’t got that type of reaction except car-bound folks think I’m a bit crazy to having a cycling lifestyle…or walking to grocery store (it’s only 15 min. one way) when it’s -24 degrees C. We don’t have a car.

  4. You, girl, are so right on target here! I’m so moved and in agreement about this. Will write a followup.

  5. I have been a regular (almost daily) exerciser for about 10 years.
    I have a full time job and kids. People used to comment wondering where I found the time and energy.

    The truth is many people just sit on their couch all night.

    I currently practice yoga daily. I feel without it I would be physically hindered. I have some inflammatory arthritis and my joints hurt badly Evey morning. At 47 I need that yoga to maintain mobility.

    It also manages my anxiety. When I quit drinking in 2013 yoga saved me. Yes a healthy coping mechanism.

    Being huh maintenance is great. After all, you only have one body….


  6. I have fibromyalgia, and have discovered that weightlifting and swimming actually seem to counteract some of the pain and fatigue. If I’m sore from working out, for some reason that pain makes the fibro pain go away, and there’s something about moving in the water that helps, too. (And yes, those two kinds of pain are *very* different; workout pain feels clean and healthy, fibro pain not so much.)

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