A Real Monster
Museum of Me: Collectors Corner

In Training

Back in the days when I used to run, I laughed and rolled my eyes whenever this conversation came up (as it did, all the time) . . . 

Random acquaintance: What are you training for?
Me: Life.

Because I was never "training" for anything! I just ran. For fitness . . .  because it was easy and convenient and I could just go out and do it. I was never running to "train" for any upcoming races or anything. Just for myself. I mean, it's fantastic if you ARE training for something special, some special athletic event or challenge. But . . . not everyone who runs runs because they have a major race goal. Sometimes people just run as a . . . fitness-for-life goal. Y'know?

Anyway, by now you're probably wondering what I'm going on about . . . when I don't even run any more. 

Well.
I've been thinking about this concept of being "in training" for a while now. Trying to get my head around what it means . . . to be training for something. Basically, it's getting your sh*t together to succeed at some point down the road. Preparing yourself for a future event. Making sure you're in the best shape you can be to tackle that future event. Being ready on every level - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Shoring yourself up for something that's grueling and tough and probably unpleasant. Voluntarily. Because you want to, because you choose to.

Which makes me realize . . .  I AM in training for something. Not running-related, for sure, but something grueling and tough and probably unpleasant.

So if anyone asks me that question now . . .  I'll have a ready answer.
What am I training for?

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Getting Old.

"Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life."
                                        Kitty O'Neill Collins

I hear a lot of "old people" (which used to be people of my parents generation, but now includes my own friends and others in my age cohort) joke around and comment that . . . old age is not for the weak. And I laugh and shake my head because I suppose it's true. BUT. Hearing that phrase also makes me determined to put my money where my mouth is! I want to make sure I'm good and strong so I can meet "old age" from my BEST position, not my weakest. If I truly want to do what I say I want to do each year when I set my intentions  . . . live my best life for the rest of my life . . . I need to take my own aging seriously.

I need to put myself in training!

What does that mean, exactly?

Hell. I don't know. But I have some ideas. And I'm willing to do some research and dig a little bit. And I've always been good at figuring things out and putting a plan together. And I can commit myself when I decide to. I just know that it's important for me to get my head around the concept of aging MY WAY. I need to do this FOR ME. Holistically. Voluntarily. Because I choose to.

I am definitely in training now!

Watch this space for further developments.
Maybe you'll want to jump on board and "train" along with me.
Because it's never too early to begin training to be an old person.
(And what are you waiting for???)

"Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be."
                                    Eleanor Roosevelt

Comments

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Carole

Even though I'm resistant to the idea of growing older I also recognize that it sure as hell beats the alternative. I definitely need to do some training for myself. I did learn some things about being successful and old when I worked at the COA: 1) don't fall, 2) have good insurance and 3) having a good source of income.

Debra

I love that idea Kym! I am with you on this!
Now I have a response when people ask why I walk everyday. Please keep us posted.

Juliann

I worked with a functional doctor for awhile and she asked me to think about what it meant to be well. Great question. One thing I learned from walking my parents through their aging: don’t underestimate the important of friendships and hobbies. I want to be that little old lady who can go for walk, meeting friends for coffee, and knit all the beautiful things. That is my “training” goal.

Anne

Oh! I love this, Kym. Well said.

Bonny

Aging is serious business and both of my parents (especially my father) and my in-laws have taught me that. I have bits and pieces of a plan (do new stuff, think new things, keep moving) but I fear I need something more concrete. Count me in!

Vera

Sounds good Kym. I learned a lot about this watching my parents who were both very active and engaged in things...then my Mom developed dementia and her life changed drastically. Not sure how you can train for that life changing event, but my Dad stayed vibrant and active (walking, driving, seeing friends daily) until he passed away at 93. I'm interested to see/read what you share with us. Love the quotes you used in today's post.

Dee

:::Watching this space with interest:::

Mary

Take care of your feet. That was a lesson I learned a few years back when I read Being Mortal and it's such great, overlooked advice. This is such a great - and necessary! - topic - thank you (in advance) for sharing what you learn.

Debbie

At my eye doctor visit last week I was referred to an eye surgeon for cataract surgery and that made me realize that I'm not just getting old...I am old! I do look forward to seeing more clearly!
This is such an important topic and it's why I exercise daily, try to eat healthy, and keep myself involved in a variety of activities.

Margene

A strong little old lady doesn't know she's a little old lady. Every one of us needs to listen to you, Kym.

Patty

I’m in!

Jane

This is a very thoughtful post Kym. I'll look forward to future posts about meeting age. Have you read Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher? Some reviewers thought she sugar-coated old age, personally I enjoyed her positive outlook and lessons about living each day.

Chloe

I would like to add daily thankfulness to that plan, Kym. That for one more day, I am still here and my life is great. Life is tricky and thankfulness helps prepare me for that.

Chloe

Oh, and I agree it really, really is important to be physically strong!

Sarah

Kym, I love this attitude! I think back to when I was a kid and my grandparents seemed ancient and decrepit, but they were probably the age my parents are now. And my parents are in great shape -- my mother got sent to take a stress test recently, and she was on the treadmill for almost twice the amount of time they say a woman her age should be on it and said she could have kept going! I very much want to continue to be active as I age and to not have my body get in the way of anything I want to do. So consider me along for the ride with you!

Pam

I just had a delightful visit with an elderly aunt today -- "oh darlin' thanks so much for coming".

I may need to work on being just a LEEETLE bit sweeter, so people will enjoy my company as much as I enjoyed hers today.

kmkat

When we remodeled and added onto this house., we tried to make it as old-age-friendly as we could. 36" doors (to accommodate a wheelchair), levers instead of doorknobs, and a quasi-pseudo elevator. That last thing has quite a help; neither of us use the stairs much anymore. I suppose the next step is to put a chair on it so I don't lose my balance and manage to fall through the 12" gap on either side of the platform.

kmkienholz@gmail.com

You forgot to mention knitting as a way to keep your mind sharp. All that counting and modifying patterns is a great way to maintain your brain!

Carolyn

I'll definitely be watching this space as you continue to inspire us, Kym!

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