Having the energy to move freely and actively, with alignment and balance, helps us to maintain and restore our mobility and flexibility. This is what keeps us independent as we get older, and lets us lead a fulfilled life into our old age.
Generally, our lives have become sedentary, sitting behind laptops, communicating through mobile phones, and feeding our lust for excitement through Netflix, Disney, etc. This could result in a total disaster for our health and wellbeing.
What does it mean to me?
To me, physical freedom evokes excitement, adventure, possibilities, dreams, imagination, celebration and achievement. All of this while being able to move our limbs spontaneously and energetically without aches and pains. This means we can be functional in the sense of standing, walking, running, climbing, lifting etc. In order to do sports, to swim, to climb mountains, to ski, to run a marathon, to fly a kite, or whatever else we wish to do. And no matter how intensive or energy driven the exercise may be – our bodies will be ready; able and willing to ‘take on the world’.
I personally find many physical activities quite difficult nowadays, due to a number of medical issues, even though I’ve been very active throughout the different stages of my life.
I danced ballroom and Latin American styles as a youngster. I marched in a Juvenile Jazz Band, firstly as a side drummer, then as a Drum Major from the age of 11 to 18. I rode in All Island Horse Shows, partaking in Dressage and Show Jumping when I lived in Cyprus from age 21-24. Here, I also regularly swam, and rode a racing bike in and around RAF Akrotiri. I revisited my marching and drumming life, by joining Dave as a member of the RAF St Athan Band when he was posted there. I’ve also been riding motorbikes since I was 17, gaining my motorbike license when I was 23. Throwing myself down the side of the snow-covered Troodos mountains, on a bin bag, and walking for miles throughout my life are just a few of the things which I’ve done to keep my body fit and healthy through the years.
However, things can change, and today my challenges include:
Type 1 diabetes (which has never stopped from me doing anything I wanted to, but after 49 years, is starting to cause other issues in my body)
CHD – Chronic heart disease (heart attack in January 2012 – a secondary condition of my diabetes)
CKD – Chronic kidney disease (since November 2016, a secondary condition of my diabetes, which restricts my dietary choices)
Osteo-arthritis – I have a worn hip joint, and my knees are deteriorating.
I have various health issues. However, understanding my issues and the secondary effects of certain conditions also gives me a sense of physical freedom, because I’m aware of my limitations, and I don’t ‘over exert’ to the point of damaging myself. Yes, I’d love to be able to do all those physical things I could when I was a younger woman, and on most occasions, I won’t shy away from a challenge. But I must also accept the freedom and knowledge of realising my limits, and understanding my body’s abilities.
Physical issues as we get older
Ageing is a fact of life that we can’t control, but we can choose to control ‘how’ we age. It doesn’t follow that we have to inevitably suffer with ill health and weak bodies, the two things aren’t synonymous with growing older, and making the right choices for your body once we have the independence of becoming young adults, can only give us all the very best start in preparing our bodies for our twilight years.
Prevention is better than cure
Ageing has many benefits! We’re wiser, know more about ourselves and what we’re capable of, and usually have more time to do and enjoy all the things we love to do. But we’re now also wiser about food and nutrition, healthy choices, and physical fitness, so there’s no real excuse to neglect how we take care of ourselves as a young person these days, it can only prove positive to do so.
Keep working on yourselves, and look forward to the years ahead, having prepared your mind and your body to be strong and capable.
We all have a choice – here’s to your long lives, abundance and fulfillment!
Do you want to focus on what you do want in life versus what you don't want?