June 15, 2004

I’m Walking For Endurance and Peace


Since I will be traveling back and forth to Florida, perhaps New Mexico looking at gay and lesbian retirement communities, I have embarked on a program to improve my endurance. I’ve also bought a set of light weights; 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12 pounds. I have a membership at a local health club and I walk on the machines there every day. Of course, I’m only walking 10 minutes, and at a slow pace. My goal is to manage a half hour walk at a fair clip.

My doctor says to be careful, but he approves. He also said that I shouldn’t expect a great deal of improvement at once.

“At your age, the body is losing more cells than it can replace, Isaac.”

“Your saying that an exercise program isn’t of much use for an 84 year old.”

“To the contrary, it would be of great benefit. Just take it slow, and if something hurts, stop immediately. You can damage a ligament easily. Also, you have osteoarthritis, and you can aggravate it by over use of damaged joints. You should think of exercise as a way to help maintain your body’s strength.”

“So, I can’t expect a great deal of improvement.”

“Oh, no. You can improve your stamina. However, you must accept the fact that improvement will be gradual. Also, you will have to expect aching joints and muscle.”

“So, if it hurts while I’m walking or exercising, I shouldn’t stop.”

“Isaac, it depends on the kind of hurt. If you experience the burn of tired muscles, that’s good. You may be able to add a few new cells of tissue that way. If, on the other hand, you feel a sharp snap of pain or a stabbing pain in a muscle or joint, stop what you are doing immediately.”

  • *
    Yes, I hurt in places I didn’t know could hurt. However, I am walking in good company, because I think of Mahatma Ghandi walking for peace between the Hindu and Muslim factions in his “East Bengal March,” in the late 1940’s. I know I could acquire the abiltiy to walk for hours if It would help to bring peace to this sad world. So, every day when I walk, I think of Mahatma Ghandi and I pray as I walk. Unlike Mr. G. W. Bush, I actually mean that "I pray for peace."

    *Rediff on the Net, “Phillips Talbot’s fascinating Letter,” http://us.rediff.com/index.html (visited June 15, 2004, 8:43 A.M. EDT)


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