50 years old isn’t a box, people, you own your reality.
It makes me sad that women seem to put their spirits on lockdown, consider themselves too mature for “this or that” or cut their hair because it’s the “right thing to do for a 50-year-old”(?!) If ya got it, ya got it and nobody but you can make you authentic and beautiful except you!
This is just a portion of my take on fitness-after-50. It’s what I believe is #1 to pay attention to (besides looking your best and achieving physical health above and beyond the norm for your age) we need to pay particular attention to our recovery and energy maintenance. Gone are the days that you can party like a rock star, with no sleep and then exercise like a maniac and expect good results.
I shared the photo in this post because it was taken in Hawaii the day after a bicycle race up the mountain – 10,000 feet in about 4 hours (honestly, I amazed even myself!).
The first place finisher and I (2nd place – woohoo!), are both in our early 50’s and strong athletes, but we hold regular jobs, have busy lives, and do what we do to have fun. Both of us needed recovery most of the week after the race, where years ago it could have taken much less time. Recovery exercise might seem counter-intuitive and take some of you out of your comfort zone, but the point is to move gently to pump your lymph and blood to circulate through the body and help flush soreness and assist in the recovery process. Drinking enough water is also essential and can help you feel better faster! Some of the ways we recovered included easy cycling, gentle swimming, walking, stretching (lots of stretching!), yoga, and even napping on the beach.
I feel more time is needed at this point in my life to get back on track after extreme stress and exertion and the bottom line is this – if you are spending what you don’t really have, regardless of how long you do it for – you are running yourself down.
Here is my favorite way to look at this, which might give some perspective. I learned these ideas from Ron Teagarten when I was a Chinese herb apprentice….
If our bodies were a candle, the 3 treasures (energy systems) we operate in at any given time are our JING, our CHI, and our SHEN. The wax part is our Jing, it’s what we are born with, our DNA, our life force energy. We know that the wax doesn’t last forever and that certain things burn that wax away sooner than later. Adequate JING keeps most of the other systems in play. The flame is the CHI, our energy and circulation. The light of the flame is our SHEN, which correlates with our spirit and emotions. When our Jing is used up, it’s gone. Let that sink in…
The conscious 50-year-old has nothing to prove, only personal gains that coincide with an honest assessment of where they are and how to achieve their goals in a balanced way. Recovery is top of the chart along with candle conservation or better yet avoiding burning the candle at both ends with too much physical or emotional stress.
Throughout the blog, I’ll continue to touch on tools and techniques for women of all ages to thrive within all 3 treasures physically, energetically, and emotionally. How to find your inner and outer athlete and use these concepts to achieve your goals, keep adventure in your life, and become deeply attuned to bodies’ signals.
As you read, just keep in mind my own personal creed is this: I will continue to be the easily excited, silly, fun, immature girl that loves to dress up and be a glam athlete, who pushes 100%, a healthfood/herb addict, while being the best mom, friend, gf, and personal trainer/health mentor that I can be! I love life and all of its gifts and lessons.
Looking forward to the next 50 years. -Rana