Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have a body that’s capable of doing everything I need it to do. Sure, it might not be the most perfectly maintained machine in the shed, but at least it’s relatively pain-free. Pretty much everyone I know seems to have some ongoing issue with pain nowadays – a bung knee, a niggling shoulder complaint or a bad back.
But here I am at 52 without any such troubles. I mean, touch wood… at my age, it could happen at any moment, if the prevailing attitude is to be believed. Still, I can’t help but feel that part of the explanation for my body’s highly functional state is having an outlook that’s contrary to the idea that a painful body is inevitable after the age of 30. Of course, maybe I am just lucky.
It’s not like I never have any physical complaints to speak of. I’ve spent my fair share of time at my local sports physiotherapy clinic. Moorabbin readers with an interest in physical therapies might know the one – they do remedial massage and myotherapy and all that jazz as well as physio. Anyway, point is, I’ve had my share of injuries. It’s just that I’ve managed to sidestep the conditions of chronic pain that so many of my peers seem to be experiencing.
Being a competitive ocean swimmer and a football player has probably set me up for making sure everything stays relatively well-oiled, even if I’m frequently pushing it to the limit. For most of my life, it’s been second nature to follow up on pain signals by checking in with a sports physio specialist. Sandringham, where I went to high school, had solid resources for doing this – ahead of its time, I think – so it’s been my habit since I was a teenager
I guess my body’s functionality could ultimately just be down to a life of exercising. As my Pilates instructor always says, ‘motion is lotion’ – as in, movement keeps everything trucking.