By Eileen Laird / Bombshell “Over 50 Specialist”
Have you ever heard people tell you “be careful” “don’t overdo it” “you don’t want to hurt yourself” “why are you pushing yourself at your age”? When I first began working out five years ago and especially when I joined Bombshell in 2013 at the age of 51, I heard this very often from family and friends with good intentions. It’s a good thing I chose to ignore a lot of the naysayers and kept pushing myself. It’s funny—I have found that for some people once we reach a certain age we begin to get more sedentary and slow down. Those little aches and pains creep in and our brain tells us to be careful. Those people have “crossed over” to the “old” way of thinking. Some people interpret their discomfort as a signal to stop all activity and choose to live in constant comfort, which most likely is sit on the couch every night eat ice cream and chips binge watch the latest TV smash hit show. I found that was me for several years through my forties, I thought it was just the normal progression of life.
As they say in Brooklyn Fugettaboutit!!
The good news is you can choose to be exceptional and different, you can live beyond these misconceptions and embrace what’s uncomfortable, get off the pity pot and live life on life’s terms. Let’s face it life is uncomfortable, messy and inconvenient at times so what, why not Embrace the Uncomfortable!
Getting older is inevitable. Feeling old is an option.
So what is uncomfortable for you? For some it’s the day after leg day, those wonderful DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. For me, I have to realize that in order for my body to transform there will be uncomfortable adjustments to my daily living. It’s being uncomfortable in a really good way. I remember Genn Strobo said laughingly at my first camp in one way or another, my butt is always sore. I have to laugh about it today because I get excited when my glutes are sore, it means things are happening – changing; muscles are developing, growing! That’s exciting stuff at any age but more so for those of us over 50 gals that gain muscle much slower than our younger sisters and that’s where the beauty of embracing the uncomfortable comes in. It keeps us living in a spirit of flexibility, when we flip a negative into a positive it is empowering instead of being deflating.
So what have I had to embrace? Well, wearing my shaper for one thing! We have a love/hate relationship! I truly have to psych myself up to put it on and keep it on. Sometimes I count the hours, rejoicing when it’s time to come off but after a few days of consistency it becomes habit and then it’s not a problem to wear it all day. Especially when I can see the difference it makes on my waist and abs, it’s worth every squeeming minute! Now it’s part of what I do each day. As of today it’s been on for four hours, twelve minutes and thirty six seconds but who’s counting? Hahahahaha!
Another thing I had to embrace was being one of the only women who lifts in my gym. For my first three months I would drive to the gym physically nauseous and full of fear. Sound familiar? I would tell my hubby, Tommy, “I don’t think I can do this, I feel sick” and he say to me, “just go in and do what you need to do and don’t focus on anyone or anything else. It will go away and you will be fine”. Well it did get better but I still have days where I feel intimidated and “less than” in my head. That’s when I flip those thoughts into positive affirmations and tell myself all the great things that come from being active and being a Bombshell. That lifts me up and I walk into the gym feeling all badass – knowing that a) I’m probably going to be the only woman there tonight; and I have a splendid Bombshell booty to boot b) I’m probably old enough to be most of the guys mother’s and c) I lift heavier and sweat more than most of my male counterparts. Being a Bombshell has taught me to believe in myself and that I have the power to do anything as long as I tap into that faith and use it to make me stronger.
Lastly, and most importantly for me right now is to continue to do the best I can do every day. I have some arthritis in my hands especially my thumbs and it makes it very difficult to lift some days. I am scheduled to have surgery on my one thumb to remove a cyst and I will not be able to use my right hand for several weeks, three weeks before Bomicon. Boo Hoo or pishposh! I get to choose today. That’s the beauty of it! I am planning to not let this stop me – I will find ways to work around it and I will find a way to keep training as much as I can within my doctors instructions, of course.
If I slip up and begin to complain about how “uncomfortable” my life can be all I have to do is look at all my fellow Bombshell sisters who are killing it in the gym and mastering the art of aging gracefully with strength, beauty and resilience. Living the Bombshell lifestyle is wonderful. It brings you into living a life beyond your wildest dreams by accepting what is and working to change what isn’t. I want to thank IFBB Pros Nancy Bowlin, Mary Dent and many other “Fabulous Over 40 and 50” Bombshells. Fabulous Extraordinary ladies who inspire me every day to stay focused on my goals and dreams. They show me how it’s done “beautifully” but I’m sure they can tell you some days they are uncomfortable. We all are sometimes—it’s just how we use it. As I said before growing old is inevitable; feeling old is an option!
It’s December, almost 2016 – do you know where you want to be this time next year? What are some of your goals for the New Year? I’ll be sharing mine with you as well in the coming weeks. Get excited because; remember “it’s all part of the adventure”!
If you’re a Bombshell, you can chat directly with Eileen on her “Fabulous Over 50” forum on Bombshell’s Social Community Network.Learn More about Eileen Laird