If exercise can extend your healthy years.. don’t do it!
Carol came in for shoes. She was going to walk her second 5k and she was on a mission to lose the weight so she could stop being pre diabetic, get off the cholesterol drugs and get off the blood-pressure medication, too. Never mind that she is 70 years old and never had much use for exercise – she was determined and I was all too happy to help.
“If I was going to walk, then I better have a destination..” -Carol
As we began working together, Carol told me about her life. She was widowed now and before that, before retirement even, she used to work 10-12 hour days, never having any time to herself or time to follow her interests. She didn’t even know what her interests were. So when her husband died, and she had all this time on her hands, she began to cross-stitch and knit, sitting hours on end in front of a television knitting and stitching, eating, smoking and waiting for death.
Her daughter kept trying to get Carol to ‘get out there!’ and walk or exercise somehow, but what was the point of that? It would only extend an already miserable life, an empty life, and she was over-weight and winded all the time already. She was depressed.
“but then I discovered that I DID have a destination..” -Carol
It took nine years, but she finally went on anti-depressants and they helped; just like that, she felt better. On a day-trip somewhere, Carol discovered that just moving from one spot to the next wore her out – and that was the straw that broke the camels back.
She wasn’t done yet. She didn’t want to fade out, whiling away the hours stitching and knitting, growing bigger and weaker and stiffer with each passing day – sighing impatiently for that long, slow decline. She wanted to live!
“..my destination, was myself!” -Carol
She doesn’t stitch or knit quite as much anymore. Carol walks. She walked her first 5k and I’m sure her daughter is over the moon about it – proud and happy to join her mom and enjoy her mom. I’m proud and happy about it; over the moon about it, and I’m a complete stranger!
Carol really impacted me with her fitbit and her excitement to do more 5ks, to get off the medications and discover new things about herself and the world around her. She literally said that she was ‘her own destination’ without any help from me at all – and my jaw dropped because that’s the name of the 5k 101 program that I run: “Destination YOU!” That’s the name and that’s the sentiment behind it – “that our only destination should be the best version of ourselves that we can be!”.
No one really knows about death and we can’t really make any promises, but I would still put money on it that Carol is going to make good on her goals and instead of waiting for death, Carol going to go places and do things she never dreamed possible!
Thanks Carol – you’re a real inspiration to me.