There is no such thing as a relaxing summer in the Almeida household. My friend who has been staying with us for the last three months moved out. We’re getting the house ready for my parents to visit in three days. Some friends from Vegas are coming in a couple weeks. Plus, we spent 8 hours today helping some very good friends move into their new house.
I firmly believe this is what you do for friends and family. The relationships are beyond simple hospitality. If a friend is in need, you help a brother (or sister) out. When they come into town, there is no reason for them to stay in a hotel. If they need help moving, there is no saying “no.”
However, helping my friends move today I was reminded that I am not in my 20s anymore. The furniture seemed heavier. My back and shoulders seemed a little less stable. I found myself getting tired around 2:00–much too early than I’d like. Plus, I started aching.
Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed certain deficiencies in my body’s performance. First, there was the development of sciatica along my right leg, and then left leg. I developed a mild case of psoriasis (treatable with hydrocortisone). Then I get tennis elbow (no, I don’t play tennis) on my right arm.
Thankfully, none of these ailments are severe. I can treat the pain with a few ibuprofen. Along with stretching, exercise, and physical therapy they are manageable. But they are all reminders that I am getting older and am most likely paying for past physical abuses.
I haven’t taken the best care of my body. I was very overweight for most of my life (25 out of 36 years). I smoked for a while. I played contact sports. There’s a physical invoice I’ve been building up over the years and it looks like some of that tab is coming due.
The most important part is that I refuse to let any of this stop me. So what if my elbow hurts, or my hip hurts, or the muscle in my neck is strained? I will not let these things stop me from helping a friend move, or going to the gym, or playing with the dog. Sure, there’s pain. But it’s manageable as long as I’m willing to do what it takes to keep it manageable.
I’m glad that I got my physical house in order when I turned 25. I can only imagine how bad off I would be if I had continued to let my physical body deteriorate. I turn 37 in just a few weeks. I definitely want my quality of life to improve; therefore I have to do what it takes to guarantee it will. If that means getting up at 6:00am every day to exercise, then so be it. If that means cutting certain foods or snacks out of my diet… well, it’s a good thing I have a vegetable garden growing in the back yard.
Not that I am a saint when it comes to health. I love alcohol and food way too much to give up so many delicious possibilities and I love to get lost for hours on the interwebs. It just means I have to understand my passions in terms of moderation. To know when enough is enough; to learn how to control my appetites rather than letting them control me.
I truly believe that the key to a happy, healthy life is everything in moderation. It is just so hard to remember that when there is a pint of ghost pepper vanilla custard in the freezer and a Supernatural marathon on the television…