Just Like A Beagle

”A body in motion tends to stay in motion.” The Celebrex commercial says it all. I’m no doctor so I wouldn’t presume to comment on Celebrex itself—actually I pray that I never have to take it—but the ad is spot on. (Now that I am thinking about it, one of the reasons to stay in motion might well be so that you would never have to go nearCelebrex.) But I digress.

Esther Tuttle, aged 99, and one of the centenarians quoted by the New York Times in Secrets of the Centenarians, October, 2010, says, “I think the secret of a long life is partly genes, but I also think it’s being conscious of your body. Your body is your instrument,” Tuttle tells us, “so I always did a lot of Yoga, stretching exercises and walking.”

Way to go, Esther!

People tend to think that those who exercise regularly love it and therefore it is easy for them. Not so. Not by a long shot.

It’s true that I love to walk. But not always. When it’s rainy or windy and cold or when I have to fly out of bed to beat the heat of the day, I often feel like: Oh, well. Just skip it. So I bribe myself. I pop a hard candy into my mouth as I head out the door, or I clutch a few roasted almonds in my fist and, making them last as long as I can, I eat them on the way.

I also have walks of various lengths, so on a bad-weather day, or when I’m feeling droopy, I tell myself, I’ll just take the shorter one, the one with the slow upgrade but no steep hills. It’s amazing how, once I get going I am willing to go further than I had planned.

When it’s really cold, thoughts of a cup of tea and maybe a cookie when I get home help me to kick up the pace. My son’s beagle always gets a treat at the end of every one of her walks. Why shouldn’t I? My philosophy of exercise is: do it any way that works for you. Just do it!

Best of all inducements is to have a walking partner, which I did for several years. Off we would go in whatever weather. In winter, our faces smeared with Vaseline, we chatted as we stretched our fleece-clad legs up hills. I was bereft when she moved away and I was back to walking on my own. Nonetheless, walking prevails.

Lightening can strike anyone at any time, it’s true, but we don’t have to be rods for that lightening. So get out there and be a body in motion and if you already are, perhaps you would be kind enough to share with readers what gets you going each day.

Esther Tuttle tells us, “It’s great to be 99 and well.” Wouldn’t we all love that?

Written by Cecily Stranahan, our companion on this journey of reflection and self-discovery. Visit Cecily's Blog at LifeOpeningUp.blogspot.com