Too many things have happened in the last 3 months to go back and fill in.  I will do so, slowly, but today,  I want to show you why I have not been blogging.  My entire focus has been on getting my body back, and spending time with the grandchildren.   Following years of limping around, then breaking the Achilles tendon,  the subsequent operation and enforced inactivity , my fitness level fell lower than it has ever been.  I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without panting.  I had no energy, which affected my interest in life. Every bite I put in my mouth turned to fat, as my muscle tone disappeared and my metabolism slowed.  I thought this was it:  OLD AGE settling in.   Then I joined the gym in Cary. Yes, this will be a testimonial to exercise and its benefits.   

I began on October 15th.  I got a personal trainer.  I found out I had the body of a 78 year old woman, based on my cardio/vascular readings and percentage of body fat.  My knees hurt, my ankle is still healing, my shoulder and elbow from the spectacular fall at the high school reunion picnic still hurt me.  So my routine became aqua aerobics every morning at 8:45, strength training with the trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00.  I add a yoga/pilates class on days I don’t train with Mike.  Home for lunch at 12:30.  Rest, nap for an hour or so.  Pick up Gabriella from pre-school and meet Nico at the bus stop at 4:00.  Dinner with Nate and Monica and the kids at 6:00.  Home at 8:00 or 8:30.  Read.  Go to bed.  That’s the outline, anyway. 

Every Monday night I go to a class in Buddhism at the Kadampa Center in Cary.  It’s guru is a Tibetan lama.  They get around, these days, those guys.  The "facilitators" are local people who have studied many years.  One is a doctor, another a CPA.  I have been to retreats in France with Sogyal Rinpoche, and to see the Dalai Lama for 5 days in France, too.  Hearing the teachings with a North Carolinian accent is somewhat bizarre, at first, but I am over it now.  I go with Nate and Monica’s neighbor, Judy Malloy.  Judy and her husband Bernie are transplanted New Yorkers who build mansions.   They have a grandson and granddaughter a year or so younger than Nico and Gabriella, and we hit it off right away. 

I have managed to squeeze in some shopping, of course.  Clothes are much cheaper here than in England, and more so when I use British pounds.  The US has become a magnet for European shoppers.   How things do change.  I’ve also had the children for over- nights, singly and together.  And it’s better than it has ever been because I have more energy.  NIco, Gabriella and I raked and swept leaves on Sunday, and we all enjoyed it.  I can swing the kids longer.  I can walk quickly for 40 minutes without being winded.  Tasha is going to appreciate my pace when I walk her.  I’m getting a waist again, and my arms and legs are shaping up.  I haven’t even lost that much weight, yet, but that is secondary to a renewed joie de vivre.  I’m sure I haven’t managed to communicate how wonderful a change this is.  I was feeling that age was taking me over.  My enthusiasm for life was a little forced, and I felt powerless to change it.  And now I don’t.  I know that even though I am in my 70th year, I can influence my rate of aging.  And that is a precious blessing.