There's a Grandma in my Bones

photo by Little H, age 4

I’m 31 years old. Sort of.

I mean, I've been alive for 31 years. But I’m an awfully lot like the 60-70-somethings I occassionaly attend a restorative yoga class with.
I roll up in my CR-V, car seats and cracker crumbs and all, and squeeze right in with the Cadillacs and Mercedes, parked ever so slightly crooked in their spots. I inevitably meet my instructor at the parking ticket machine and once again help her through the process of purchasing an electronic parking pass. And, also once again, I attempt to dissuade her from saving the receipt until kingdom come because I’m pretty sure “technology” is in fact not going to fail her and result in a retroactive ticket she doesn't deserve.

As we make our way from the parking lot back to the yoga room, there’s a lot of chatting and slow ambling. I want to speed things up and get us started. Actually, I generally want to speed things up the entire 1.5 hour class.
There is a lot of sitting, breathing, and stretching. Did I mention it was a yoga class? Anyway, not my favorite way to spend 90 minutes. I rarely break away from the responsibilities of my job and my two young children to do anything by or for myself. This is holy time I don’t want to waste. (And, okay, I'm kind of a Type A personality.)

I don’t like meditating. I have found that I breathe just fine without devoting thought to it. And I prefer my stretching to be a warm-up for some sort of strenuous exercise to follow. But I come here because I need it, because I know that it is good for me. It helps my troubled body feel a tad bit better, even if only for a few hours.
So much of me wants to be outside running, to be fast and free. To be 31. But that’s all in my head, because my body fits right in with grandmas around me. You see,

    * Inflammation rolls around in my hip and rib joints, making me ache and creak and move gingerly.
    * I lack hormones and thereby the ability to regulate my own body temperature appropriately. To compensate, I habitually under-dress and am cold 95% of the day, because the other 5% is flashes of torturously hot.

    * I take a medication (to help keep the cancer away) that causes bone density loss.

    * And, the water balloons on my chest and chunk of lymph nodes cut out of my underarm really put a damper on my agility. High impact exercise is generally not reasonable.

So, like I said, I fit right in here. I am a 31 year old, trapped in a 70 year old body, that is actually 31 years old.
We’re stretching slowly from side to side. We’re balancing. We’re breathing.

(Sigh.) I was never a very good runner anyway.


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