What's Fit?

A person capable of swimming a mile has achieved an above average level of fitness.

Percy Norman Swim Club


I have to say I have to frown a little at this one. Not that I’m not still excited that I finally can swim a mile. I freely admit I get a big ole kick out of it. I worked a long time to do it, and that it’s my usual swimming workout is kinda cool to me. It was a big <ahem> milestone.

It doesn’t stop me from hurting when I’m on my feet all day. Hell, it doesn’t stop me from hurting when I’m in the water on my bad days. My joints are so bad right now my hands hurt while I was swimming, never mind how my hips, knees and ankles feel walking home from the gym. This means I’m not exactly gonna be able to hike a few miles even if I need to.

I see fitness as being able to cope with random emergencies and get through one’s day comfortably. When I have flares like this, it does interfere with my day, by damn! Forget running away from danger.

Does this mean I can’t get “fit”? To a degree, that’s about right. I really can’t.

But I do what I can. “Can” is swimming a mile (and used to be swimming 400 yards), or walking two or three (and used to be a couple of blocks). “Can” is lifting heavy weights a few times a week. I can prevent muscle atrophy. I can get my heart pumping harder for a half hour or so to keep my cardiovascular system healthy. I can lift heavy stuff to maintain my bone density. I’m certainly far fitter than I would be if I did not attempt to move on a regular basis.

Do I find it discouraging that I’m never going to get to the point where I can run an easy 5K or be able to go all day like a lumberjack?  Kinda.   I just try to ignore that, though, and keep on with what I’m doing because I know that working out is what I need to do.

1My maternal grandmother

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