Though I'm in terrific shape for a 52 year old, there is no doubt that I am a woman barreling through middle age. The signs are innumerable:
- When I was in my 30s and doing kung fu, if I pulled something, it would last a couple days. Now my pulls last months. I don't remember the last time I didn't have some little pull somewhere in my body.
- I am tenacious about my sleep. I try to get at least seven hours a night. I believe that the effects of lack of sleep are broad and deeply deleterious.
- A couple years ago I got reading glasses. My opthalmologist told me I was lucky because most people's vision starts deteriorating at 40. I remember when I was a kid I looked around the dinner table and said smugly: "Ever notice I'm the only one in the family who doesn't wear glasses?" My brother, without a millisecond's hesitation, shot back "Ever notice you're the only one in the family who doesn't read?" HAHAHA
- I hold railings when I go down stairs now. No shit.
- As I get older, one of my symptoms of PMS has gotten worse: my clumsiness. I'm sure it's hormonal. The week before my period I am constantly dropping shit. Thus, I hold onto my keys really tightly and handle butcher knives with extra care.
I am eternally grateful to my ex, a 34th generation Shaolin Monk, for introducing me to the notion that fitness is forever. That exercise has now become an integral part of my life and I simply can't imagine life without training. It's never too late to get in shape. I see it as a manifestation of self-love and self-respect. Though I love the way I look, I do it for my health and well-being and for my kids.