I find it more than amusing that the older you get, the crazier the birthday cards become. The main theme of these good wishes that have been trickling in over the last week seem to be body parts breaking down, including everything from sore backs to aching joints to the inability to even get out of bed in the morning.
These cards make me smile though. On the morning of my birthday last Saturday I sat drinking my coffee and looking at them all propped up on a table, and quite frankly I felt amazed that I had made it this far. In my twenties I doubted I would ever make it past 40 but I have surpassed that mark by quite a few years. I believe this is due to a committed and diligent guardian angel, because in my younger years I had a total lack of self preservation as far as restraining from doing, well….really stupid stuff.
As a kid I can recall very few summers where my knees weren’t totally scrapped from bike crashes; tree climbing mishaps where only flimsy branches broke my fall; skateboard collisions with walls and numerous other mishaps where I could have ended up in an emergency room but walked away unscathed. And that was all before I even turned 12.
It’s a true fact though, that the more years you live through, the more precious life becomes. My sense of “adventure” has been tempered somewhat by a slower, more thoughtful pace, where I actually (most of the time) think things through before bulldozing in and dealing with the consequences later. However, I still have my moments and one of those was deciding to do a little cross country skiing last weekend even though I’ve never really tried this sport.
And this adventure would have in no way crossed my mind except last year a friend gave me a pair of skis complete with shoes and poles. They were gathering dust in the barn until I pulled them out last week. “How hard can it be?” I thought to myself.
I selected an unbroken snowy path in the back woods of my property to give this activity a try. I trudged up a hill to get to my starting point, slipped on the shoes and then clipped into the skis. Standing there, leaning on the poles, it felt good to be out in the middle of a blanketed clearing, ready for push off. It was a beautiful afternoon too, the trees covered with snow, their branches bending in homage. Bluejays called off in the distance and the only marks on my chosen path were the delicate footprints of a small bird.
Then I pushed off, ready to glide easily into this glistening forest but that didn’t happen. I pushed off again but only sank deeper into the fluff. Then I tried walking, trying to get into some kind of rhythm but that was a disaster too. It felt as if someone had applied glue to the bottom of these boards and the more I pushed myself the more resistance I felt. And that’s about the time I thought the best way to get the skis lubed up would be to tackle the snowy hill I had just climbed. Gravity would deliver the momentum I needed to gracefully glide into this untouched winter wonderland.
It worked. However, there was nothing graceful about it. The moment I pushed off that hill I knew I was in trouble. I had that feeling you get when you know you are in way over your head and the outcome was going to be very different than what you imagined. And I was right on that count also.
Aside from the fact that I was wearing skis, you couldn’t actually call how I got to the bottom of that hill skiing. It was more of a wipe out-wallow-wipe out-wallow sort of rhythm until I found myself at the bottom of the hill in a clump of bushes brushing snow out of the hood of my jacket as it cascaded down my back.
I gave up, retrieved by boots and trudged back home, broken and sore. Come to find out from a friend who is an avid cross country skier, skis need to be waxed and first timers should seek out a groomed trail for the optimum experience. She also suggested a lesson or two. Who knew?
Since this adventure was prompted by a resolution to get healthier in 2014, I’m going to leave you with a nutritious smoothie recipe that I have been enjoying lately. I’m becoming of big fan of smoothies because you can really pack a lot of nutrients into one of these delicious concoctions.
I did come to one conclusion though. After my botched skiing experience I made myself a cup of tea and as I sat sipping it, I once again gazed at my birthday cards, realizing there is a definite correlation between aching joints, sore backs and gray hair as the years go by. However, and I can attest to this, there is no age limit whatsoever when it comes to doing something stupid.
2 to 3 ice cubes
1 Tbs. flaxseed
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. olive oil
½ cup blue berries
½ cut up strawberries
½ to ¾ cup almond milk
Place ice cubes in a blender and then follow with the remaining ingredients. Puree until all ingredients are blended together.