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Old Age Crisis

I got the blues over at the Blue Hills today. On the trail at dawn with temps in the teens meant that I had that free outdoor gym to myself for a quick 8 mile romp through the woods. As much as I love my solo nature nurturing, I miss the weekly scampers I had with my fellow frolickers. Most cold weather Saturday afternoons had been filled with 3-4 hours of vigorous hiking through the Blues as an antidote to the blues over the last few years. Our group of middle-agers yelped and felt like yetis as we often ran up and down those rugged inclines. Occasionally we got together for dancing and biking too, but for getting out of our ruts, bonding and busting our butts was best by boots.
“We like weather” became one of our mantras and heavy breathing was like tantra. Our socializing through the exercising was exorcising some major stressors and we curiously came across common conclusions. Our “yeti” team was comprised of women from Germany, France, Singapore and India as well as guys from Iran, China and two of us from this locale. Though we were a diverse group, each one of us felt like we had encountered a similar “old-age crisis” while in middle age. Crisis times in one’s life are opportunities for growth and also present the danger of doing the same old thing in the same old way while expecting different results. The thread that wove us together was the recognition that we had each gone through a period of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. That admonition fueled the desire to get back to basic values by letting go of unnecessary stressors and moving more to mobilizing through the mediums we love.
Interestingly, a major factor in each person’s recovery and rejuvenation was in the realization that the food we had been consuming appeared to be accelerating our pace on the race to rigor mortise. Though each one of us had thought we were doing well nutritionally by avoiding junk food, we all grudgingly had to admit to ourselves that even eating “healthy” was not quite healthy. The terms that were used about healing ourselves through nourishing nutrition were: “Going back to my granny’s food”, “Eating the Korean way”, “Listening to my belly”, “Buying only the fresh food my mother would get daily at the local market”, “Consciously consuming real food”, “Following the Biblical diet”, “Eat as a hunter and gatherer”, “Old world eating” and mine: “Organic munching (OM)”.
According to Qigong theory, food produces fire qi (energy). If the quality and quantity of the calories is of the chemical cuisine and the consumption is conspicuous, the fire qi will cause a calamity at the core, confusion at the cranium, a conundrum around protection and a collapse of the spirit. Calmness coincides with clean qi and catalyzes clear caloric choices. My grannies both lived quality lives to age 94. Both strongly admonished to us that “You are what you eat”. A common saying in athletics is, “Junk in, junk out”. My daughter Jocelyn recently proclaimed, “Since I have eliminated sodas et al, and drink only filtered water to hydrate, I am now repulsed by the taste of those drinks that I used to crave.” Identifying the difference between impulse and true desire takes some experimentation, exploration and enthusiasm. Our yeti clan got through our old age crisis well and now may even be experiencing being young while old - a true core re-birth - he said with some mirth - takes quite a lot of work.