Who's the Boss?

My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today—we don’t know where she is.

--- Ellen Degeneres

One day I will be abel to do this!

Experts say that exercise is important for us as we get older. An active lifestyle, with some flexibility and strength training, goes a long way to reducing the falls that plague many older people.  In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in five falls causes a severe injury such as a broken bone or head injury. Fear of falling can also seriously affect an aging adult’s quality of life and can keep a person from being active and thriving.

I am committed to my exercise program for both my physical and mental health. As someone who exercises frequently, I have what I consider to be body bossiness.  Some days it feels like my body - not me - is in charge.

If I miss a workout, I can hear my limbs crying out for something that will pull, push or otherwise torment them into some pliability. When I get out of bed first thing in the morning, the ol’ girls creak and groan, to which I reply: “Good morning, gals, another day. Time to rise and shine.” If I ignore their pleas, they will let me know that they’re the boss of me, not the other way around, and I’d best get my butt in gear or pay the consequence.

Have you ever argued with an abdominal muscle? When you learn to crank up your core on purpose, those girls are tough to beat. The other day I lost my balance while navigating what appeared to be a particularly onerous curb and I felt my abs join forces like NATO, keeping me erect and upright. “Wow, girls” I barely whispered, embarrassed at the near-fall while some svelte twenty-somethings who likely never lose their balance were nearby. “Thanks for having my back.” I know they heard me because I felt a twinge in my lower sacrum.

The gluteus maximus understands she’s the largest muscle in my body, and if I’m not careful, she’ll kick my behind if I try to get her to do side kicks or lunges if she’s not ready. I’ve got to sneak up on her, because it seems the element of surprise catches her off guard and she falls into line quite easily then. She always impresses me with her ability to kick as high as the sky. Like she’s got a mind of her own, attached to ligaments and sinew and other substances that keep her intact.

The human body is just amazing! Seriously, though, I need to let her know how awesome I think she is every day, or she might stop being my girl. Then I’d be a mass of flesh with no definition or strength. You want to see someone age fast? Piss off her body or ignore her needs. I’ll know pretty quick who’s the boss of me.

Do you have an exercise program that works for you?




Hello, I’m Janet, career coach, writer, workshop leader.

I help women create their best lives through personal writing.