About twenty-four years ago I had just reached my goal of being able to swim a mile (36 laps) without stopping. I was quite pleased with myself and was feeling great. Then one day, as I was blow drying my hair, I noticed I could not hear the same on both sides, but it was only noticeable with the high whine of the blow dryer. Some of you know that was when I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma on the brain stem side, and I would be forever changed.
But that's not what this post is about.
I have not swam laps for all of these years. I don't know why. I guess it just brought back bad memories. Or maybe I didn't think I would have stamina in the pool any longer. Regardless, I decided that since we spend quite a bit of time in Hawaii on a regular basis, I had absolutely no business in the ocean unless I could swim some distance. You just never know when that skill will come in handy.
We started swimming laps, my husband and I, sometime in November. The first time in the pool I could only go about 9 laps with numerous stops. (The 6,500 feet of altitude didn't help.) The second time I could go further but still needed to stop. By the third time in the pool I could swim close to half a mile without stopping. Now I'm up to 20 laps and well on my way to a full mile.
I think everyone has some form of exercise that just comes more easily to them. For me, it is swimming. For others it is running, or biking, or lifting weights. We're born doing some things more easily than others. My husband is a great skier - I have always been a hazard on the slopes. He is also a good runner and goes miles with our dog. I, on the other hand, used to "jog" only 1 mile and I knew exactly where to turn around so that I didn't go beyond that one mile marker. However, we were sharing a lane in the pool the other day and I powered right past him. (It's the only physical thing I have ever been better at than he is.)
Our older daughter does Bikram Yoga - you know, the yoga with HEAT. Honestly, I cannot think of anything worse. Doing yoga and being really hot and sweaty is my idea of HELL. Our younger daughter used to be outside-mid for her high school soccer team - with asthma. She just plowed right past all of her limitations and ran - in a most aggressive style, I might add. I can't think of anything worse - people kicking my legs while I'm running as fast as I can??
So whatever comes easy to you is probably your God-given talent. Whether it is exercise or work related, if you want to find your path then look no further than whatever you can do with the least amount of resistance. That doesn't mean you don't have to work at it - it just means it's easier, and more fun. That is part of this Shift of Ages. Learning to pay attention to our God-given gifts. Feeling into what works for us.
And having fun doing it.