I went for a walk this morning for the first time since I retired six months ago. At the very time when I had the time to go walking I stopped walking. When you have all the time in the world, time disappears. When there are no obsticles in your way it’s easy to invent some. It’s too early; it’s too late; it’s too cold; it’s too hot; there is too much traffic on the road. It’s dangerous in the misty morning. There is something I want to watch on the news. I can’t fnd my walking shoes. It’s slippery underfoot. There’s no fruit to take with me. I have no apple for the horses. Where is my asthma puffer? Best of all perhaps and the most frequently used is “I will do it tomorrow”.
I am sure I must have thought of hundreds more excuses. It’s easy to make mountains out of molehills, especially when you don’t really want to do something but you feel you should.
Three miles today felt like 30 miles and the slight hill half way around the walk seemed like the north face of the Eiger. It took me longer than in the past and by the time I got back home, my legs ached a bit and I was hot and tired. But these thoughts were dwarfed by a real sence of achievement.
As we get older it is not difficult to see more and more barriers rising before us as our age advances. Excuses are more frequently found and “taking it easy” can become your watchword. Molehills can quickly become mountains, if we want them to.
Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to see many older people belying their age and overcoming adversity in their lives. Achieving things they never imagined they could do. From pottery to poetry; gambling in Las Vegas to walking on the Great Wall of China; from swimming with sharks to skiing with Eddie the Eagle, climbing and abseiling rock walls at an outward bound centre in Exmoor to looping the loop in a glider at 93. Over the years at ExtraCare, I have been priviliged to see literally hundreds of elderly people with every kind of frailty overcome their age and apprehensions to conquer amazing new challenges in later life.
Let’s carry on turning mountains into molehills and then there will be no more excuses left for me.