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Old Lady in the Slow Lane – How I Learned to Love the Squat

My plumbline of how old I am is my granddaughter. She is two years old, and I spend a fair amount of time with her. I am fascinated by every movement she does. How she sits on her haunches, how she climbs a jungle gym and just how she runs around. She is busy. Always moving.

My day begins with moving one leg out of the bed and then slowly the other one and then pushing myself up ever so slowly. The days that my granddaughter spends with me always end in huge backache.

Old lady in the slow lane.

I decide I need to rectify this. Someone goes forward at church and says I feel healing needs to happen for some people. I look up and think, “that is it, my back problem will be solved.”

I speak to healing man afterwards and say thank you for that. I have just prayed my back better. He looks at me with a smile: “I think you need to do squats. They are good for your back.”

Practical praying man has not seen me do a squat. It looks ridiculous. It is just too far down. I cannot get there.

Old lady in the slow lane.

It is another day, and it begins with me moving one leg out of bed and then slowly moving the other one. I start thinking this is ridiculous. Has YouTube got the answer.

I sit on the couch and search. “Oh, I like that one.” Pilates for the over fifties in fifteen minutes. I ask my granddaughters Dad to please send me my 5kg hand weights back.

I own hand weights. Have I used them? Yes, moving them from one cupboard to the other.

Old lady in the slow lane.

Early morning, I move one leg out of bed and then slowly move the other one. I set up my temporary Pilates studio. I substitute for a mate. The mattress that goes into the portable cot.

Old lady in the slow lane.

I have saved the YouTube clip. I take my position. I have a 5kg free weight in each hand. Slowly, up down, up down, up down. We squat. Slowly up down, up down, down. We sit, we put our legs sideways and reach over with the arm to the other side and back, reach to the other side and back. We change leg positions.

Really old lady in the slow lane.

My legs cannot do this next position. I am gently told by the nice Pilates lady on YouTube if you battle with legs sideways, sit cross legged. I do that. Still not easy but getting there.

Old lady in the slow lane.

Next exercise on all fours with free weight in one hand. Forward and back, forward and back. We put the weights down and stretch out our left leg and then our right leg. Left leg, right leg, left leg, right leg.

Old lady in the slow lane.

I am told to lie on my back, gentle exercise. I simply lie. How can gentle Pilates make you so tired?

Old lady in the slow lane.

A daily ritual. A 6km beach walk. Nature calls. The designated dune. I comfortably squat.

Old lady in the fast lane.

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