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How well will you age? - A lesson from watching my Mom learn to walk again

weekly memo

I’m thinking of my Mom this morning.  It would have been her 94th birthday and she loved to celebrate with a party.  And I loved to plan and throw her a party.

 

She never complained of getting older and I believe it’s because she always had a trip or event that she was looking forward to.  A true extrovert she loved being with friends and family. 

 

She suffered from some of the common ailments of older age in America: osteoporosis, scoliosis, two strokes, and cognitive decline.

 

As I’ve been thinking about how to age well there are so many things we can do to impact how long we live and our quality of life.

 

I’ve always said my Mom was small but mighty.  She had a very determined spirit about her.  When she had a massive stroke in 2022 the neurologist wrote her off and said she’d never walk again.  I cautioned him to not make such a bold prediction but if I’m being honest I was very concerned.

 

She had been doing some form of exercise and physical therapy since her early 70’s.  I called her physical therapist, Liz who was ready to get to work with her.  

 

I credit my Mom’s determined spirit and all the years of consistent exercise.  Even with her cognitive decline, she was able to connect her mind and body.  She could follow the cues that Liz gave her.  About six weeks after her stroke Liz had her up and walking.

 

I’ll never forget that FaceTime call and watching my Mom get up and walk.  I cried happy tears.  And each time I saw her she was more and more steady on her feet.  Her grit and determination had her up and walking.

 

Even if you think it’s too late to change your body, improve your strength, or impact how well you’ll age I promise you it’s not.  How you eat, move your body and the thoughts you believe today are an investment in your future self.  

 

After all, aging is a privilege.  I hope you’ll appreciate what a gift it is.

 

My Mom had the gift of encouraging people.  I hope you’ll take one tiny step today towards your future health.

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