While the world was preparing for other things, I was preparing for a walk in the woods with my dog, “Dish”. Dish is about to turn 1 year old. He is both very smart and very rambunctious. He is large bodied with very long legs and a very long jaw line which makes him look like a land shark when his mouth is open. He loves to chew on my husband. He thinks he is a toy. So a walk in the woods always expels tons of Dish’s energy and I get to enjoy the peaceful bliss that Mother Nature has bestowed upon this earth for me (and you) to enjoy.
As I strapped on my snowshoes Dish keeps me in his eye sight. He wants me to know that there can be no distractions between here and the woods, and that we are going, right now. He is very anxious.
There is about an inch of fluffy new snow. It’s great for our walk. I started off into the wooded10 today, which is actually backwards for us. Dish is a little confused, but changes his course and we’re off. After climbing the first hill and halfway up the second, I stop for a rest and Dish runs ahead a bit. He turns and looks back to make sure I’m coming and then prances off for exploration. As I stand there resting, I close my eyes, taking in the fresh air and listening to the silence. I think about aging. Funny I would be thinking that, but I take care of my mother-in law, so I think about aging alot and I’ve come to terms with the fact that you are the only one that can prepare yourself for what is yet to come. If you are young and don’t think about it much, let me remind you that there will come a time when you will start to lose your strength, flexibility, coordination and your balance if you don’t continue to use it and develop it. I was pretty active as a martial artist in my 20’s into my 30’s, then I had 3 more kids. In my 40’s, the cartiledge in my knees started breaking down and by 52 I could hardly walk. I lost some of the most productive years of my life due to the fact that I was too young for knee replacement, then lost my insurance coverage and was unable to have the surgery. It wasn’t until in my mid fifties, remarried and re-insured that I was able to finally have both knees replaced. Recovery is still an ongoing process, even 5 years later. So, here I am moving into my 60’s now, with a renewed sense of who I am and where I am going. I know what needs to be done, and it feels good to be working towards that goal.
I can hear Dish breathing heavy right in front of me. I open my eyes and he is sitting there wondering why is it taking me so long to get going again. I give him a treat and explain that I got lost in thought. I’m sure he understood! So, I take off again, and he follows behind me pushing me up the hill stepping on the back of my snowshoes as we go. That is so annoying! I try to explain to him that every time he steps on my snowshoes he throws me off balance. He really doesn’t care. All the better to work on that coordination and balance thing I’ve lost for not being better prepared for aging, right?