The other day I got in a conversation about aging and it occurred to me later to make a distinction between aging in a chronological sense and aging in a movement sense. I think this distinction can be very useful in everyday life.
Aging in a chronological sense is mostly about counting your birthdays and lamenting the fact that you are no longer as young as you used to be. There are also (hidden) expectations about getting old that include loss of abilities. We expect to become less flexible as we age. We expect to become a little weaker as we age (be honest, you don’t expect to be as strong when you are 80 as you were when you were 25) we expect to not have such good balance anymore.
I am not saying we look forward to it, or even think about it most of the time (though some people are obsessed with it). These are mostly expectations ‘below the surface of thinking’ (hidden) and they are there as a result of what we see around us in our society. For instance, we expect (even if we’re not looking forward to it) to get lines on our faces because basically everyone does.
Aging in a movement sense is mostly a shift that happens from childhood to adulthood to old age in our ability to move easily. If you take the time to look at young people moving you will notice that, unless they are sick or injured, they move with a lot of ease. It is easy for them to move and they move a lot. If you don’t know what I am talking about, make your way to the local preschool, kindergarten or grade school and wait for a break. The amount of exuberant movement is amazing. The situation is very different if you look at the residents of a retirement home.
The initial ease of movement in life seems to decline over the years and people become more and more sedate. Naturally you will find exceptions, but generally they move less and with more difficulties. Sometimes the difficulties have to do with strength, sometimes with tensions, sometimes with flexibility, sometimes with balance, sometimes with pain. Regardless of the reasons and explanations we can give the result is the same: limitations and difficulties in moving (and therefore limitations and difficulties doing what you want to do in life) increase with age.
So from a movement perspective we can define ‘young’ as someone who can move easily and without pain, and ‘old’ as someone who moves with difficulties, pains and limitations.
Most of the time chronological age and movement age match. People who are old in age are old in movement and people who are young in age are young in movement. But I have no doubt that we have all met people who are young in age but old in movement and people who are old in age but young in movement. It seems to me that it is possible to be young in movement into old age!!
Are people who are old in age and young in movement just lucky?
Or is it possible for all of us to be like that?
Can we keep our youthful movement into old age?
And if you are now old in movement (regardless of your chronological age) can you become young again?
And if it is possible to do, what techniques or methods can we use?
I believe that it is not only possible, but actually easy to do.
Let me know what you think…
Wishing you peace and health,