As a Civil Engineer, I have worked on many types of projects; site plans for homes, roadway projects, and large grading projects to name a few. One thing all of these projects have in common is the success of the project is largely dependent on the foundation and strength of the soil that it is built on. One could build a beautiful home and watch it fall if the foundation hasn’t been properly prepared and designed.
Similarly in our bodies, building a good foundation is imperative when we think about aging gracefully. Recently I told one of my clients that I was fighting the aging process with everything I had. She countered that being able to embrace the aging process and learning to enjoy the journey by finding an exercise modality that actually allows graceful aging night be a better more positive response. I really had to think about her statement, because at that point I wanted to be known as a bad-ass, in-shape instructor and trainer.
It all started, really about six years prior to this conversation, when I started participating in a 5:30 am bootcamp, 5 days a week. It fit my schedule and kept me feeling well and was a part of my goal to get in shape for my 50th birthday. As many of you know, bootcamp can be hard on the body if not performed correctly. Over a year;s time, I sustained a number of injuries. I became compelled to study anatomy and really became interested in how the body funtions and moves. I looked into personal training as a good pivot for me eventually, when I retired from Engineering. The more I studied, the more I discovered the importance of the foundation of not only my body but having a good foundation of exercises and proper functionality. I began to discern that the body responds to certain stretches logically and that only until the muscles are loose and activated can they actually be strengthened. My engineering brain understood logic and I began implementing these principals in my own body.
Fast forward to today, I have been able to teach and train numerous individuals, and assist them in utilizing muscle release and lengthening techniques with Yamuna, body rolling, and Pilates. I then teach my clients careful weight lifting and cardio moves to strengthen and integrate movement into their daily lives. I believe one of the keys to aging gracefully is continual, careful, and mindful movement. Another key is embracing every stage we encounter, so be present, and enjoy today, because as you know, it is a gift. That is why it is called the present.