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HORIZON BLOG

My Body Is Failing Me

 

Question

"I’m approaching 87 and finding that some of the things I’ve always loved doing are becoming harder and harder. One example is golf. I was a decent golfer for most of my life. Now it’s just too difficult to pick up the ball over and over. I’m concerned that I’ll fall over one of these times, and maybe not be able to get up. My old bones and joints just don’t work like they used to.

Driving is also much harder. My vision is poorer, my hearing isn’t perfect, and I can only turn my head so far. I also drive far too slow for traffic. I’m going to have to give that up sooner than later.

All in all I’m losing things that I enjoy and worried about how to use my time."

 

Answer

First of all, you made it to 87! Congratulations. You’ve accomplished what many others have not.

You are now realizing that your 87-year-old body is not like your 40-year-old body. Joints, muscles, and organs are all firing at less than their prior capacity. All of this is very normal, as you likely know. It does catch us by surprise a bit though. People can talk about it, but until you experience aging for yourself, it all sounds like white noise.

The question is, what does someone do with themselves when their body starts letting them down? My response is that you push back and explore because life’s not over yet.

What I mean is for you to continue to golf if you love it, until you absolutely cannot. If you fall over, someone will help you up; golfers are kind that way. Find other peers to golf with. They’ll be similar to you in ability. Find adaptive tools to pick up the ball and use a cart. Lean on these tools when it all becomes too much.

If you’re not already in a training program, start now. You can train your body to peak condition for your age. Speak with your doctor first and then pick whatever is best. It matters. Far too often we become more and more sedentary the older we get. Instead of accepting that, reach out. Find a trainer that suits you and become more active. It will surprise you.

Look for new things to try that you might not have considered in the past. Some people paint, play cards, cook, garden, build something, etc. There are thousands of things you could pursue. I personally wish there were more time to try things I might enjoy doing. Don’t let your age be too much of a factor. While it is a factor, there’s so much you can try, if only you give it a go.

There are so many opportunities and adventures I would have missed out on if I had let my age be the reason I didn’t participate. Yes, driving will at some point be a bad idea, and not every activity will work out. Don’t look back and keep on trying. Doing what you can do now is the secret to contentment going forward.
 

About this Post

Written By

Mary Haynor

RN / CEO - Emeritus

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