Suddenly they came. Suddenly they left.
Is there any reason the days, weeks, and months are zooming right along—faster than ever—other than I’ve reached that stage where I was always told (by my wise, old grandparents) that life and time will really speed up as we reach those golden years. Well, I really can’t hide the fact that mine are about to get even “golder” in early June. I tell myself it’s only a number, and it is, but I’ve found myself paying more attention to this thing called aging. Of course, I’m just turning 30—in my mind, that is!
No, I’m not yet a doddering, mumbling, archaic remnant, and I’m still “young at heart” (whatever that really means!) However, I have grown to appreciate a whole lot more each day as it dawns, and I’m up and out of bed at a very early hour, enjoying that first cup of hot coffee before the day gets going and taking advantage of the stillness to read one of the several books I have “in progress.”
Actually, I’m in better shape at this age than I was just three years ago. For the most part, I felt as though I was physically in trouble: heart valve issue, blood pressure way too high, lack of motivation to really exercise on a regular basis. In short, most days were a challenge to find a whole lot to feel good about.
The biggie for me was having open-heart aortic valve replacement in August of 2020. Everything afterwards improved—because it had to! Following the surgery and the appropriate recovery time frame of a few weeks, I entered Cardiac Rehab, and that set me straight and off on a path of regular discipline and awareness of my health. I learned how to attach a heart monitor to myself at the beginning of each session and to re-learn how to workout and make good use of the various exercise machines (treadmill, recumbent bikes, etc.) More importantly, I began to overcome fear of “not feeling good” and no longer ignoring the need to press on and work the body in a positive way. It was during these weeks where I began to again see a real need for a regular disciplined regimen that I could follow and set my life’s plan and schedule by.
And so, after several weeks in that wonderful hospital program, conducted by wonderful hospital people, my next step was to decide if I was going to actually make a major lifestyle change. On one hand, I could simply slide back into my previous lazy lifestyle; on the other hand, I could continue the “disciplined regimen” and really do something good for myself. In my mind I knew that I would never really follow up with a regular program of exercise and good nutrition, etc., if I were left to do it on my own.
I didn’t have to worry, though, as part of the cardiac rehab program, “graduates” are offered a free three-session trial in the Jump Start Your Heart program at the hospital’s Health & Wellness Center. Because this seemed like a great way to continue what I began, and it was all in the same hospital affiliate, I readily took advantage of the trial offer. What I found was a program that seemed to be exactly what I needed: Flexible class hours, excellent leadership by a knowledgeable trainer, affordable membership, terrific facility, others in the “same boat” as me!
Why not? During those three sessions, I discovered that I really was happy to keep building myself back into a person who felt physically well and mentally happier. I also enjoyed the friendly welcomes I received from the other “veterans” of the class—all fun folks and ready with a quip or a joke. And the leader couldn’t have been any better to set my mind straight on just how serious I was going to be about doing all this. In short, I was sold and haven’t had a shadow of a doubt ever since! The only drawback was the distance from our home—16 miles—but I actually make that a positive, enjoying the half-hour drive to the Wellness Center three mornings a week. It’s a great way to gather my thoughts and think about “things” before I meet up with those cardiac “friends” at such an ungodly hour of the morning.
And now that I’m about to reach another “golden” year of my life on June 11, I’m happy and heatlthier and enjoying the days of which I’m so blessed.
It’s good feelin’ good!
Until next time…