Recently I was in a Sears store buying ankle weights and 2 dumbbells. As for why, I’ll do my commercial for people over 50 needing to do some form of weight training for their bones, particularly women because we lose so much of our muscle mass as we age. I personally want to always be able to carry my own groceries, do my own yard work and get that 40 pound of dog food from the trunk of the car into the house. And I can.
But after a move, I left behind some of my weights so when I saw that Sears had these discounted, I decided to get them. As I’m also a member of a gym, I only wanted small weights for use at home (dumbbells 5 pounds each, ankle weights also 5 pounds each). So in total, this purchase weighed 20 pounds.
And the woman checking me out, who was older than me by a few years, reacted with surprised that I thought I could carry them out.
“It’s only 20 pounds,” I said.
She still frowned. “You sure you can carry that?” And then she struggled to get them in the bag.
Wow, I thought. If you can’t carry 20 pounds, that is more than sad. That’s serious. Maybe her husband is doing all the heavy lifting, but what if she’s left alone? Why would she not want to be able to do that for herself?
The ironic part is, I then went home and emptied and spread sixteen 40-pound bags of top soil…carried the bags from my car to the yard, then carried each bag to where I wanted it emptied, then spread it out.
16 x 40 = 640 pounds.
Not saying it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done, or that my back didn’t talk to me a bit. But I still did it. And I was glad
I know the day is coming when I won’t be able to do things like that. Or even sooner, when I just don’t choose to do things like that. And that’s perfectly fine. Haven’t we all earned that right?
In fact, when you think of it, once you are a boomer and beyond, you’ve carried a great deal of weight already….work, disappointment, love, heartbreak, marriage, divorce, children, death, success, failure, and the very real desire to get even with the cable company.
So maybe we can put down a few things now and again. But sometimes I feel the strongest when I can sense another person Is questioning my viability. Like when a much younger person looks at me like I’m a museum piece.
Or when I’m completely ignored because of my age.
I want to say, hey, let’s talk about what real strength is…and what it takes to get it. Years and years and years of heavy lifting.
And as long as I can carry the load, I’m going to do my best.
Because I think we’re all a lot stronger than even we realize…and sometimes it feels good to remember that.
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”