Exploring the Limits

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When I was three, my mother put a board down on the sidewalk and told me I could go down the street to the board and no farther. You can see here that my reaction was to walk back and forth along the board. I have always been interested in exploring the limits.

We all are limited both by society, culture or our environment. We also, though, limit ourselves in all sorts of ways. Sometimes we are not conscious of the ways we constrain ourselves. I wrote some months ago about beginning to go to the gym so that I could be back in my body after many years away.

At 69, my body did have some inherent limitations. I had not been particularly active for a long time, and my muscles, tendons and ligaments had either gone flaccid(my muscles) or shortened(my ligaments.) I couldn’t throw myself into a strength routine designed for 20 year olds.  I had to go at the pace my body could handle, not at some mythical “get strong quick” rate. I had to ease up when a shoulder squeaked or a knee complained. I had to learn about actual limits.

But it turns out I was also limited by my own sense of my physical capability. Now, two years after beginning personal training(a necessity for me to avoid injury) I am stronger than I thought possible. I can push dumbbells overhead, slam ropes on the ground and shove medicine balls into a wall. Do I resemble the 20 year olds? Not at all. But I am slowly adding weight and repetitions to my routines. Every six weeks, my workout is a little harder. I have no idea what the limit will be in my strength building. I remain open to listening to my body and my trainer and seeing what happens.

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