Atrophy: A Withering Death!
Use it or Lose it
Part 1 of 3
As we continue to live through these current days that will affect our futures, I’ve been thinking back to one of the times in my recent past that still impacts me today.
I experienced a serious health crisis a couple of years ago that had me fighting for my life in the ICU for ten days. Surviving the surgery was just the beginning of my battle back to health. Being confined to bed for over a month, it astounded me just how fast our bodies can waste away when we are (literally) not doing anything physical.
Part of the illness’ impact meant I had to re-navigate how to walk. It was weeks on end of one struggling step at a time. It took me nine months to get fully to the point where I could walk independently.
Let me tell you, an experience like that can really change your outlook. Every morning when I can wake up, swing my legs over the side of the bed, stand up, and walk around, I’m grateful for my health and my mobility.
The doctors used the word “atrophy” to describe how my muscles became nearly useless. I suppose it’s the scientific term for the phrase: use it or lose it.
I know the pandemic is dragging on far longer than any of us could have imagined. Restrictions impacting us every day. We can’t even plan a little get together with friends to lift our spirits—never mind things like holidays that we once planned for with such excitement!
At this point, atrophy is a real risk for each of us: Atrophy of our physical bodies. Atrophy in our relationships and connections. And atrophy in our businesses.
Granted, I’m deeply aware that this isn’t quite the enthusiastic, cheerful type of subject I tend to post about. And I’ve thought carefully about whether to even write about it. In the end, I felt compelled.
You must take the risk of atrophy seriously. Don’t let our current state of living pull you back from working hard for yourself, your loved ones, and your businesses!
When it comes to your own self, if you are one of those who has been exercising and strengthening your body, keep it up! I can tell you absolutely that you’ll be glad you did. If you haven’t been, make today the day you start.
If you’re already experiencing atrophy—or it’s a risk—you must get up and do something that challenges your muscles! Does your body know how to walk unassisted? Congratulations! You already have an advantage over where I was just two years ago—use it.
Sure, there may not be the motivation to get in shape in advance of a vacation, or meeting up with someone you want to impress, or even something like a half marathon. You’ll have to decide on a different ‘why’ for getting stronger. Whatever you decide on, start today.
For some, even the distant hope of going places and doing things again is reason enough to be strong and healthy. It could also be the health benefits, the psychological benefits, or showing our children how good it is to focus on being the best version of ourselves.
Use it or lose it, folks. In a season where so many have experienced so much loss, we must take care of what we still have. Take care of your body today. Push it a little further. Find out what you’re capable of today, and tomorrow you’ll already be a better version of yourself.
Watch out for part 2 on this subject.