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Try not to die before you’re dead

July 7, 2017

There is a certainty we all live with.  Getting older and eventually passing from this plane.  

Not a pleasant thought, but one that is very realistic.  None of us live forever.  As the old saying goes, none of us get out of here alive.

I am sitting here typing before I leave to teach a class hoping I don’t offend anyone.  My thought for today is about attitude of living and not so much when we go, but more of how we live and approach living while here

In the work I do I spend a lot of time with older seniors. I see them in groups at gathering sites such as nutrition centers,  meeting rooms at senior living centers,  at activity centers and in their own homes as private students.

The difference in attitude among the seniors who do and don’t exercise amazes me.

In a few centers for example,  only a small handful of the attendees participate in the Tai Chi and Qigong / balance programs I teach.  Those who do are enthusiastic to do so.

You may think “that is because they are the healthier and more active of the groups”.  This is not necessarily true.  A more accurate statement would be “that is because they have a better outlook on life and how they want to live”.

You see, many of those who do participate have ailments that would keep many people home and in their chairs,  not even a thought about getting up and out.  They participate because they want to keep living, keep moving and have taken charge of their life as best as they are able to.

Those who sit on their hand and do nothing view their ailments as their lot in life. 

  • “We are old, what do you expect” (age is not an excuse)
  • “It hurts when I move”  (well, not moving will make it worse)
  • “My doctor told me I need to be careful so I can’t exercise”  (no doctor I ever met would say  that.  he may say, be careful how you exercise and and give restrictions  / guidance on what not and what to do)
  • “What’s the use, I going to die either way”  (then you are already dead)
  • “I am too afraid of the pain and that I won’t be able to do anything”  (exercise to your limitations. They will improve)

The idea that you can’t exercise when you are in an advanced age is such a fallacy.

In the assisted living centers I work with folks in their upper 90’s frequently and often with some over 100.

Many cannot see or hear well. Most have limited shoulder mobility and almost all are in wheelchairs yet they come to class and participate.  No-one drags them in.  They come because they enjoy it.

I have found that when you give a senior who wants to exercise a program they can do, and modify to their own capability they will do it.

Those who do participate say about those who don’t : “I don’t understand what their problem is. They would feel so much better if they just moved a little bit”.   Their words, not mine.

There is another old line that goes “I’ll lay down when I’m dead”.

I am not saying not exercising will kill you today,  and conversely, it may not make you live longer, but it will will improve the quality of life you have as long as you’re here.

It’s the mindset of wanting to feel better, do more and keeping on keeping on that I am working on with clients.  Looking at life as something to work at as best we can.

The giving in, giving up and waiting for the end is a death in itself, only on this side of the grass.




One Comment
  1. I love, love, love this Stan. What a great article. I have exactly the same experience working with those older. Attitude is everything and exercise is one fantastic way to improve living. Yet most people young or old resist and resist strongly. It is such a waste of life and very sad to see.


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