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12/01/2007                                                                                       View Comments

You got to walk while you can walk!

By Sharon

“You got to walk while you can walk!” an elderly man walking with a cane said to me, “because when you can’t walk, you won’t be able to walk.” I thought to myself, “How true.” We have to utilize our bodies, when they break down we have to tend to them to they’ll work again, and we have to use them again when our abilities are restored. “Walk while you can walk.” That statement rang so true with me because as late in life Ex-Christian I am finally learning the wisdom of living within my own body. The wisdom of knowing that my body is the essence of me, not just an appendage of myself, as Christianity mistaught me.

Believing that my body was just an extension of myself, made acceptance of reality of health problems extremely difficult whenever things went wrong with my body. And my internalization of the new truth about my body being such a process makes acceptance of the reality of health problems difficult still. As an example, I’m an athlete at heart, and I keep running into obstacles and setbacks in my health that interfere with my being an athlete. That means I have to accept the reality of the obstacles and setbacks, and embrace the fact that I’m going to have to work out at a gym for the rest of my life if I want to continuing pursuing my love of athletics. As an outdoor person and a person who through the fault of Christianity has been disconnected from her body most of her life, the idea of working out at a gym is anathema to me. So I have to retrain my mind to grasp the truth that my body is “me,” in order to accept the reality that I will have to work out at a gym for the rest of my life. Indeed, the athletic lifestyle itself was a gift, a beautiful result of my de-conversion process from Christianity.

In conclusion, the elderly man’s imperative to “walk while you can walk,” was reinforcement of a truth I am already learning, that I can and must embrace my body as the essence of my self.

8 comments:

Chucky Jesus said...

Oh, so true -- I'm "only" 53, but already my knees are shot, and when agility or even ability is lost, you really appreciate what you took for granted before.

resonate11 said...

"The wisdom of knowing that my body is the essence of me, not just an appendage of myself, as Christianity mistaught me."

Yes! The essence of oneself is corporeal. Neuroscience is proving just how true this is. V. S. Ramachandran, a neuroscientist, has written some excellent books which illustrate this fact. I am sure there are also others who have produced good books demonstrating how our spiritual/psychological aspects are rooted in our biological selves. I also recommend George Lakoff and Mark Johnson's "Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought".

PJ said...

Being a baby boomer, I'm having a difficult time now controlling my weight. What happens? Does your metabolism just die when you pass the age of 50? Also, don't like to admit it, but I don't exercise as much as I should.

I think part of my problem was the fact that I believed a lot of that mumbo jumbo about what "my true self" was. For a while there I thought my body didn't matter as long as my soul was okay. Now I know that my body and this life here and now is what I have and I had better take care of it.

Mandy said...

I always thought that was ridiculous about "Vanity" being a sin. Anything that improves your life is pretty much a sin according to the christian belief.

Plus some of these christian sects don't believe that women should wear makeup at all, and that it is sin. How retarded.

I've always believed in the statement: "If you look good, you feel good".

Astreja said...

Mandy: I've always believed in the statement: "If you look good, you feel good".

And if you feel good, you look good. Beauty and health go hand in hand.

I turned fifty this past summer. One of the things that age and ill health bring to the party is a sense of immediacy in one's life. Whatever happened before is gone, and the only sure thing is the present moment.

Health-wise, I bottomed out somewhere in my mid-40s... Weight control issues, digestive, musculoskeletal and lymphatic conditions, environmental allergies, and post-traumatic stress. Facing reality, taking responsibility for the state of my own body, and seeking out the help of medical professionals may have actually saved my life. At very least, it vastly improved the quality of that life and continues to do so.

Start where you are, no matter how frightening that place is... And then, just keep going as far as you can.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see anything in my Christian beliefs that dictates that you don't care for yourself. I ride my bike and exercise and I feel great. Nothing in the bible teaches us to grow fat and complacent. I think you're looking for excuses.

stronger now said...

I've heard tell of a pastor that is teaching that prayer is the way to get into shape. Yep, he tells his group of wanna be skinny's that they should do no exercise except pushing the button on the remote for the TV. Lest they edify themselves and rob from god the glory for their weight loss.

The bible gives christians all the excuses that they could ever need for doing, or not doing, almost anything.

Phant said...

Anonymous Said:
"I think you're looking for excuses."

I think you are looking for excuses to spam on this site.

The next time you go bike riding, do us all a favor by riding your bike out in front of a speeding "Semi Truck" while you're at it.