I have been seeing a lot of “Glory Day” posts lately. Maybe it’s the age of my friends and I being at a time in our life where we are looking back more and reminiscing over our past. It’s great to look back over great times in our lives… there’s nothing wrong with it. However, I want to add a word of warning… when we look back and recall the best parts of our lives, we are inadvertently saying to ourselves that all the good is gone. That we have already experienced the best we could be and now we simply get through it… survive.
I posted this question on facebook:
The majority of the comments had to do with how our bodies break down over time and how that limits us in living out our best days now. What I have found to be true in my life and I’ve observed in other peoples lives is that at some point people stop trying. I don’t think it’s a conscious decision, but it is intentionally made. It’s not a choice we make knowing future implications. It’s a choice we make out of convenience or to make our lives easier. Need-less-to-say, we start believing our excuses as truth.
Maybe it begins with an injury and we decide we are too old to play sports any longer.
Maybe it begins with children and how much time they require, so we stop making time for play and exercise.
Maybe we decide that our careers need more focus and time, so we stop exercising to make more time for work.
Maybe it was the winter, cold and wet, when you decided it’s too cold to go workout and be active. Then once the winter was over, you just never started it back up again.
Maybe you changed jobs and that required so much work that you lost time.
Regardless of why, most of us have made this choice to stop. We’d like to think we are stronger than that, but we aren’t. When we were young, we had friends to “play” with and keep us active. As we age, fewer and fewer friends stay active and we to stop being active. (The people you surround yourself with matter.)
After we have spent time in this inactive state our bodies adjust to that pace of life. That’s the cool thing about our bodies, they adapt… humans are cool that way. We adapt to this sedentary lifestyle and our bodies get overweight, our minds get lazy, our bones get less dense and weaker, our muscles get weak and deteriorate, and our ability to fight off illness diminishes. Basically our bodies are like, “I guess you don’t need me anymore so I’ll just start dying now”. When we stop pushing our bodies to perform, our bodies adapt to being unused and they just don’t perform “like they used to”.
As we age our bodies begin a slow death and then what happens? We have a fall or get physically injured doing something we have done for years. But we forget that our bodies are no longer required to perform and that they are slowly dying. This makes tasks that “we have done for years” problematic.
Here’s what I see happen next…
Once an older person gets injured they end up at a hospital. They get “fixed” and begin rehab. They complain about how bad rehab “hurts” their bodies. (let’s not even talk about how often infection happen) They talk about those PT people making them move and stretch and how terrible it hurts. (Coming back from injuries are tough for everyone and yes there’s pain involved, but don’t get distracted here… keep following. I’m making a point)
Because of the pain with rehab, once a person is discharged to come back home, they stop doing the rehab. THEY STOP! People go right back to their life as it was before and never fully heal or improve their body/life. Their body adapts to the new reality and is even more limited in movement because they never healed from their last injury. Like I said, the body adapts and this adaptation becomes the new reality. This is where the injury cycle spirals out of control. The very same decision that was made earlier in life is made now. It’s just too hard to continue, so they give up… again.
Remember the cool thing about our body’s?
They adapt for better or worse.
I heard this song, by Macklemore, a couple of summers ago and it became my anthem. I talked about it a bunch! Check it out:
It talks about the Good Ole Days, how great they were, and how they wish they knew they were living in them when they were happening. The part that gets me is that part about how today is somebody’s good ole days. Like, what happens today is someones best days. What if that someone was me and you?
What if we didn’t believe the lies anymore and decided to make today and each day after our Glory Days?
What if we lived in a way that just got better the longer we lived?
What if we decided to push our bodies to keep adapting and changing? Sure, we will get slower, but what if we rejected inactivity?
What if we decided that our Best Days are not in our past, but in our today and beyond?
What if we didn’t give up and assume that this is the way life is and I can’t do anything about it?
You can be different and you can still change the direction of your life. It will SUCK for some time, but it will get better and your body will adapt. I’ve seen it happen and it’s happening in me. I’m almost 40 and my body/life is just getting better. I’m picking up speed; not puttering out.
A friend of mine responded to my facebook question like this:
Your days aren’t over, so stop acting like it!
When I talk about public speaking or preaching, the advice I always give is for the person to “stick the landing”. It means: end well. If part of your speech sucked, it will all be forgotten if you simply stick the landing.
Think of it in terms of the World Series. People will always remember the last run or last out of the World Series. Why? Because that’s all that mattered. That’s the last impression everyone gets of the entire season and the last memory they will have until next season. It’s what goes down in history.
What about in your life? Are you going to stick the landing?
You CAN change. Sure, it will suck and be terrible, but you and your body CAN do it. You will have to confront pride and a slew of other mental lies, but it’s worth it!
Your best days are not over and your glory days have not been defined.