I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly talented person when it comes to anything regarding physical abilities, but I’ve run extremes as far as my my capacity to be active. Growing up I was uncoordinated and clumsy and was the kick always picked last in team sports. This started changing when I was in high school: when a couple of friends expressed confidence in some of my capacities, and encouraged me to join the athletic council. At right is a picture of me in those years, an “award” I got when I swam a mile in our pool, in an hour. Since then I’ve certainly enjoyed being active, but I’ve also had setbacks when I broke my femur and was in a coma for six weeks. In both those cases I remember having to retrain myself and relearn how to do basic things: and I was fortunate that they could be overcome.
This summer I did a trip out to the Toronto Islands on a friend’s boat; we swam about fifty metres and I was exhausted. I made it back, but I remember having a terrible time climbing back into the boat. And I thought: I might be over fifty, but that is just an excuse for being out of shape. I won’t give up on activity.
So at the beginning of November I joined a gym (a corporate pass through work for GoodLife Fitness). I didn’t tell many people: because I wasn’t sure I could keep it up. I specifically wanted a gym with a pool: and on my first day I swam 12 lengths before I was too tired to move. I’ve been going five days a week since then. Today I did a full workout and I swam 34 lengths: still not up to the man-of-steel award, but better than I’ve done in decades. It’s good to recapture some of what I’d been afraid might be lost.
5. I’m thankful for my capacity to move and be active.