Don’t be 56 at 40 – get out and play!
By Amy Sampson
Welcome to winter! Well it’s not winter yet, but as time seems to travel pretty quickly these days, it will be winter before we know it. It seems that every season brings life lessons to me, and like them or not, I have started to listen. As summer turns to fall I find myself daydreaming of snow in my yard and on the mountain. When I first leave my house in the morning and I get that blast of chill in the air and breathe in the fall scents, I know that winter is around the corner and just the thought of that makes my heart hammer a bit harder. I cannot wait for the hum of the snow guns and the activity that it brings.
This summer has been all about getting rid of the old and embracing the new. That meant a lot of decluttering for me in my home (my office, well, that’s a different story). I have been cleaning and clearing my way through the warm months. I learned along the way that doing so made me feel lighter, but I was still missing an important component. I wasn’t decluttering my body, which tends to hold onto more “junk” than my whole house!
Our houses hold onto things we don’t need, and our bodies hold onto emotions that no longer serve us. And for a lot of us, that means our health suffers. So I began to watch what I ate and exercise. And surprise – wouldn’t you know, I became friends with my scale again. But losing a few pounds wasn’t enough, I wanted to feel stronger, and be healthier. I want to be ready for the winter season, and when our long hours start I don’t want to be exhausted. Most importantly, when I put on my ski boots for the first time of the 2016-2017 season, I want to do so without cursing my legs. When I spend my first hours on the mountain, I want to feel exhilarated in the cold air and not moaning over my tired muscles.
After working out for a few weeks on my own, I bought a really fancy scale that tells me things like my BMI, muscle mass, and body age. I’m not ashamed to tell you that I turned 40 last year, but I was horrified when my scale told me that my body age is 56. Fifty-six! No wonder why I limp for the first few steps after I get up at my desk. Now my focus wasn’t so much getting ready for my skis but trying to delay joining AARP.
I started going to the gym in town, Anytime Fitness. I had actually been a paying member for five months before I finally walked through their doors. It’s only been a few weeks but I am probably overly thrilled with my new arm muscles. I am a bit obsessed. Sometimes I go to the gym at 6 a.m. and then go back again with my daughter after school. It’s awesome – and I know that once winter starts, I will be at my best forty-year-old self.
I encourage all of our skiers and riders (and our tubers, as well!) to make the time this fall to get a little healthier. Not only so that when you take those first runs on your skis or snowboards you don’t want to lay down in Pete’s Place, but also because our true age should be our actual age. A lot of our skiers and riders are athletes who train all year, and many more are hikers, bikers, and mountain climbers. I have much respect for those of you reading this who are wondering why I didn’t care about my health more all along. But I also have a tremendous respect for our skiers and riders who struggle with the decision to get outside and hit the slopes when being active like that is not second-nature. I know that I did not make the decision to be less-active than I was while growing up, it is just something that happens. But I did make the decision to do something about it, and I hope you’ll join me. Whether you’re a health nut, a couch potato, or somewhere in between, let’s all do something today that will prepare our bodies for winter. And I don’t mean buying a new jacket – I mean pushing ourselves a little harder.
Now all I need is to convince the gym to put some ski and snowboarding movies on the TV’s. Maybe The Art of Flight or The Many Moods of Skiing, or even Hotdog. Anything to keep me looking forward to slipping gracefully into my ski boots and carving some turns.
See you on the slopes – I’ll be the one flexing at the top!
© 2016 Amy Sampson