The Silver Fox At The Gym

EasyGym has made me their gym hero for––well, it says September but in fact the video was made just a few days ago. No matter, here’s the link: 

http://www.easygym.co.uk/blog/meet-pat-our-september-gym-hero

I’ve talked about the importance of getting exercise in previous posts here and I don’t think the good effects can be overstated. Endorphins are real, and one of the best things about them is, they come from you and only you. There are no endorphin pills. It’s tremendously reassuring and validating to realise you have the power to make yourself feel that good. Trust me; I’ve been doing this all my life.

When I started on progesterone, my oncologist strongly urged me to get exercise to reduce my risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, and other trouble it can cause. Of course I’m all in favour of reducing my risk of all of those things––I’ve got enough problems, I don’t need more. But knowing an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure isn’t always enough for motivation. The well-intentioned though flawed human animal responds more to things that pay off now. Instant gratification may not build character but even the noblest among us wouldn’t turn it down.

Exercise rewards you immediately with endorphins. Moving around makes you feel good; exerting yourself to move around more than usual feels even better. It may seem like Mission Impossible to get yourself to do it for the first time, or for the first time after a long period of inactivity. Once you do, however, endorphins can help you keep going.

And it’s never too late to start, no matter how old you are. My mother quit smoking and started walking when she was 65; she moved from the US to London with us when she was 76, and she lived to be 92. Everyone else in her family was gone before 70, usually after a long, painful illness. She was not in the best of health when she died––she developed breast cancer at 90 and there were other problems related to ageing. But she survived two cancer operations and a partial hip relacement after falling and breaking her femur, and she lived independently to the last. She had handicaps but she was never an invalid; it wasn’t breast cancer that killed her but a heart attack––she simply wore out.

As I said in the video and many times here and elsewhere, most cancers not directly related to a specific and/or environmental cause are pretty much bad luck. Exercise and a proper diet won’t absolutely prevent cancer or anything else. But you can make yourself as strong as possible to deal with it.

Life will give you lemons of one kind of another. Maybe you’ll make lemonade or maybe you’ll learn to juggle them. Maybe you’ll dye them like Easter eggs; maybe you’ll dress them up like Mr  Potato Head. Whatever you do, show ’em you’re the boss. When life gives you lemons, make those lemons your bitches.

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11 thoughts on “The Silver Fox At The Gym

  1. OK, that comment was a bit flip. I went & watched your video, wow, it’s great. Scares me a bit because your experience sounds like mine – only my cancer hasn’t recurred. Obviously, I’m hoping it won’t. But I’m in a YMCA program for cancer survivors and until I finally got a car this week, I haven’t been able to stay extra time after the classes to work out fully, because I was dependent on the kindness of my generous – but very busy – friend, for rides. (That’s a shite excuse, btw. But I can’t change my dumb choices of the past.) Your video is SERIOUSLY what I needed to hear right here and now. Thanks so much.

    • De nada, Terry––I was thinking about becoming a writer…*chuckle*

      And I don’t think the reason you couldn’t stay extra time after classes is a shite excuse at all. We all have to work with the circumstances we’ve got and very little is ever arranged for our convenience.

      I’m glad to hear the Y has a program for cancer survivors. Hang in there and keep sluggin’.

      • It’s the LiveStrong program – the one Lance Armstrong started before we all found out what an arse he is. He’s not associated with it any more, but props to him for starting it, anyway. It is wonderful: basically you get a free full membership for 12 weeks by attending the classes – access to all their equipment and facilities all over town. Great coaches, too.

      • I have great admiration for the Livestrong program. Finding out the truth about Lance Armstrong was doubly sad because I know so many people have been helped. I have had the Livestrong app on my iPad forever to track my diet and exercise.

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