California Dreaming on the Floor Mat
Updated: Sep 1
Yesterday, I joined the JCC that my Mom goes to for the 3 weeks I will be in town. I joined her yoga class comprised of diverse set of folks, most of them in their 60s. Today I decided to try out the Pilates floor class and she came with me.
had been worried about going to something new but as it turned out, both of us got quite a bit out of the 55-minute class focused on the muscles and bones of the feet, and the subtle movements of joints.
We spent another hour in the dry and wet saunas before heading home. As the class instructor, Melinda mentioned – our joints got juicy. I hadn’t weighed myself since my post-surgery days in March. I clocked in about 10lbs heavier than when I had a stomach full of tumors (fibroids). It was a bit shocking but then again, my clothes had stopped fitting.
My stressful months putting up the corporate website and sitting a lot had taken their toll. I am also on a hormone reducer called Lupron and that doesn’t help either.
Now I find myself re-committed to that healthy balance. However, having lost muscle tone and ability while the tumors grew rampantly last year and the trauma of the surgery itself, getting back into shape is a daily process.
Physical movements I used to do effortlessly for my passion sport, curling, are practically impossible right now.
The upcoming season is looming for many people who call the St Paul Curling Club their home for the winter. I know I couldn’t yet play a full game. To bridge the gap, lose some of the weight, and get back into shape as I t
urn 50 will take much more effort than it did even a few years ago when I tried a 10-week kick-boxing regime.
It is easy to get into a negative spiral in one’s mind. There is a lot easier path of staying sedentary that my body and mind could lean in to. It’s like working against a tide. And yet, once I end up on the yoga or Pilates mat, I realize that leaning into giving up is not the path I wish to take.
I do know that I will need to take complete recovery slowly and purposefully. My body at 50 is not the same as 40 or 20. The thing is, we all have a chance to live long and healthy lives these days if we concentrate our efforts on what that will mean. My years of being around health-conscious and active folks has led me to take more seriously this path of a powerful connection to my body.
Doing tiny movements on the Pilates mat or reformer could seem like nothing to a guy or gal bench-pressing 100s of pounds, however to me it means that I could avoid injury as I get more active. These are concepts I had no idea about when I was supposedly in my prime at 20 or 30. I would constantly over-do exercise and end up with long stretches where I gave up, in pain or needing surgery.
I had little sense of my body in space. It was a vehicle I barely paid attention to until it was in crisis.
I spent more time, high in the clouds considering spiritual matters and reading self-help books. If you look at pictures of me in those days, I had a much more wire-y body type and thin limbs. I wasn’t grounded in my physical presence.
Lately, I may be getting rounder and showing up on the scale with more weight, but my out-look on life is also grounded on the earth and enjoying real-life connections a lot more. I read fewer self-help books and enjoy talking to friends about the real events of their lives. It may have taken me 50 years of life to get to this point, however, it is worth the journey.
Not everyone is as committed to being here now, on the earth at this time. You see and hear about it in the multi-million-dollar spiritual industry hawking easy cures for life’s ills. Making up whole paradigms which include spiritual beings and entities who benevolently welcome us to ‘higher consciousness’ while absolving us completely of everyday responsibility.
The world burns and we find ways to escape as though we have “done all the work.” What if the work really is those subtle dance moves, the little recognitions of our physical body and its many glorious muscles, bones and sinews working in concert to take us to the next tiny step. Then at 20 or 50 we can be in our bodies, fully living instead of flying off pretending we are all knowing.
It is clear we are not.