Monday, September 12, 2011

My Life...
...is changing...is changed. I am all too familiar with the aging process and what it brings. I've learned this from my late parents and my patients. I always hoped against hope that the process would be kind to me...and it has been. It seems like yesterday that I was in my 50'a and running sub-3.5  hour marathons and competing in Judo at the black belt level and single-handing a 42 foot sailboat. I went for long runs most days, ate what I wanted and had a waistline <33 inches. Dude, life was good. Well, it's still good, and it is sure different.
 Many of you know that it all changed when a ruptured disc severed a nerve to one head of my quadriceps muscle and took me out of the two sports I loved so much. Running became impossible while sailing and Judo became too dangerous. In a way, I lost part of my identity. So I began searching for new venues to keep my body fit and my spirits up. Quite by accident (I know, there are no accidents) I discovered Rutabaga Paddle Shop over in Madison, a guy I call JB and the world of kayaking. Suddenly, I was alive again. I was back on the water, I was quickly learning the counter intuitive movements of kayaking (which I knew from Judo) and made what I hope will be a life long friend.
  JB
Of course, I continued with my photography, but that too changed. Trained in large format fine art black and white work, I closed my darkroom and took up water proof digital photography...and then I blogged. I wrote about whatever came to mind, read what others had to say and, over the years, made friends around the world, some of whom I've not yet met in person. Then, this past winter, I realized there was another change going on.

It was a bad winter. The ice shelves on shore kept us off the water, and I paddled less than ever before. I went to the gym, but that didn't do it all for me and, gradually, that 33" waist was looking for 34" pants. More recently, those pants have been feeling snug. I went from 162 pounds (in med school) to 168 pounds as an adult to my present (and very embarrysing) weight of 180. I realized I was writing less, paddling a lot but taking fewer pictures (and, rarely, good ones). Today, I decided that something has to change as I am feeling the side effects of my situation.

I might not be able to run, but I can walk; and, with my alpine walking sticks, I can walk fast enough to get my heart rate up. I started doing situps again and will be adjusting my diet over the next few days. Hopefully, my sleep will improve (I have a few sleep disorders) and the weight will gradually come down. Why do I write this down here? Why me, who is actually a pretty private guy.

I know if I decide to do something that I might do it. I know that if I tell a friend or two that I am more likely to do it. So, when I  publish this, I will imagine I just told the whole world and that I better do it. So, here's hoping that you will be seeing less of me; hopefully, more often.

Paddle safe...
DS

7 comments:

Duncan and Joan said...

An area of focus in my post-grad studies in Gerontology was "meaning". It became clear that as we age we need to be open to new sources of meaning in our lives. Perhaps that is the key to aging "gracefully". I too, in my early sixties, am needing to be open to transitions that I know are coming. An annoying achilles injury (which I hope will heal) is helping me discover the joy of cycling once again. We just need to be "open". Excellent (and affirming) post, Silbs.

steve said...

Were all in the same boat.

Silbs said...

Thanks to all who commented. Clever, Steve...we are.

I amgoing to take the Gerontology comments and add them to the many responses on Facebook as they are so well stated.

JohnB said...

Interesting that the photo of me was taken after finishing that piece of cherry pie when we circumnavigated Door County. LOL!!!!

Duncan and Joan said...

Hi again, Silbs. Your post sparked one of my own, on the same subject. Thought you might like to have a read. Take good care. Duncan.

Al Gould said...

Great post. I'm also feeling the effects of aging and started kayaking at 61 (1 year now). Still biking and shifted from running to wogging (walk some, jog some). That same boat seems to hold a lot of us...

Silbs said...

I appreciated the comments and welcome Al who does a few blogs of his own. I also enjoyed Duncan's good words. Maybe the ACA will create a senior something or other for us all.

I am off cherry pie for a bit as I need to lose more weight (down 4lbs.). Hope to post later today (9/30)as I am behind in this department.