My grandmother used to tell me that, if nothing else, I should always take great care of two things: my teeth and my feet.
After all, they had to be with me for the rest of my life.
This philosophy made sense to me because these were the days before the popularity and readily available liposuction and plastic surgery. Back then you couldn’t get your wrinkles removed while you’re getting your teeth cleaned, or run into a Kwiki Mart and have Apu give you a quick boob job.
Plastic surgery is so common and easily available nowadays that we sometimes allow ourselves to slip when it comes to taking care of ourselves.
But back then, taking care of your feet and teeth seemed like sound advice, something I could actually control, and even though she never liked my hair styles (80’s flashback) I still appreciated my grandmother’s common sense.
I have always hated my feet, colossal in size, over pronating and double jointed toes that are longer than some of my friend’s fingers, I just felt that they were simply UGLY.
But I have since learned to love my feet. They have served me well over the years especially when I used to be an avid runner. (Only they got even uglier.)
I was thinking of this philosophy Saturday morning while I was out for a run on the beach.
I know what you’re thinking – I just told you a few days ago that I no longer run. Well, that part is still true. But I was in Palm Beach for the holiday weekend with my in laws and in dire need of getting out of the hotel for some fresh air. (Ran out of Xanax.)
As you know, I go to the beach as often as I can, but this time was different – I was alone! – so I decided why not try and give it a shot like the good old days when I could run for miles and miles.
So I did.
And I loved it! I ran for 30 minutes straight. Up and down the sand dunes, fast sprints, slow jogs, I just allowed myself to take in the fresh sea breeze, the ocean waves, the blue sky…and like a child at recess – off I went!
Then, a little later in the afternoon, I felt a slight pull on my hamstrings and hip flexors but chose to ignore it and did a few minutes of stretching. (Which is code for reaching for the remote).
I went on with my day and enjoyed my holiday Seder that night and slept like a baby (4 glasses of wine will do that to you.)
The next morning I woke up and could not move. I literally could not sit up to get out of bed or even move my legs to reach the floor (which made having to pee very difficult).
The impact of pounding on the sand and uneven terrain gave me sharp shooting pains throughout my hips, my hamstrings and my calves. I found myself wishing that I had listened to my grandmothers advice and taken a long nap instead.
We should all take grannies advice and think of our entire body as something that has to be with us the rest of our lives. I hope to treat mine with the respect it needs to support me to an old age.
It’s interesting to think of your body in that manner – it changes your entire perspective of how you act, what you put into it and how you move it. If you look at your body like a possession, such as an expensive car or your home – things that you take extra care of – if you take pride in it and respect it, care for it, it will return the favor for a lifetime.