Staying Young~~Is There a Secret? You Might Try This~~

Staying Young~~Is There a Secret? You Might Try This~~

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Ponce de Leon searched for the fountain of youth.  Dr. Oz gives tips and tricks daily for staying young.  Regenerative medicine is a new field of medical study that’s gaining momentum and immense popularity.  No doubt, baby boomers are forging a different landscape for staying young—they’re not following the pattern of their parents!  Probably for many, some of your best memories are from those days of being ‘young’—college and those first years of adulthood—the 20s and 30s.

I am not embarrassed at all to say, I want to stay young!  Young, however, has a twisted connotation now for me—it’s not so much about the outside. It’s more about the inside, what’s in my head, my thinking—this is what orchestrates and decides what I do and how I look at the world. And, this can even bring a transformation in my looks, how I walk, talk, smile, interact—you get the picture!

san juan 4]  I want to keep finding ways to make each and every day exhilarating like it was when I was in my 20s and 30s—those were raucous fabulous years full of enchantment.  The idea of becoming a fuddy duddy isn’t even in my vocabulary—so how do we do this?  Are there secrets?  Or is it just a matter of some core beliefs and life habits that move you into the ‘golden years’ in stark contrast to maybe what you saw from your grandparents, your old aunts and uncles (who were probably just in their 50s back when you were a teen), and what that image in your mind was of getting old.

One of my most enlightening ways for staying young thinking, acting and moving has been to get into the practice of yoga.  Getting there came out of necessity—I had this electrifying pain in my left leg that developed—long story short it was the ol’ spine that was the culprit—seems that this is just a normal part of ‘aging’—rather than go a route of back surgery—(yikes!)—I decided to try some less invasive and non-traditional ways to remedy this problem, and the journey into the beautiful world of yoga was one way.

Staying Young~~Is There a Secret to This? You Might Try This~~

This leads me to another thing about yoga—the clothes—they’re just darn cute and comfortable, and one of my favorite brands is Lulumon.  So when I buy something, I usually get this inspirational shopping bag that is never thrown out because it’s purposeful for both carrying things and also for checking in with my head and thinking.  Why?  Well, it has all this hip, cool and absolute truths (in my mind) written on it—

‘Life is full of setbacks.  Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.’

‘Friends are more important than money.’

Drink fresh water and as much water as you can.  Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.’

‘Do one thing a day that scares you.’  And more and more and more.

This last one about doing something that scares you brings me to the purpose of this sharing with you as an Rx for staying young.  I think doing something that gives you room for pause and even the heebie jebbies is like oil for your brain—it moves and operates more smoothing and efficiently—gets you out of the complacency of your thinking, makes you look for other ways to deal with the fright or uncomfortable feelings/emotions/thinking.

Staying Young~~Is There a Secret to This? You Might Try This~~ So on Saturday, July 21, 2013, I had a ‘come to Jesus’ fear that jolted me into overdrive!  Ben and I were traveling to Durango, Colorado to visit dear treasured friends—we’d stopped in Grand Junction for lunch with new friends, so our route from there to Durango meant going through the San Juan Mountain range.  The views were breath-taking and magnificent.  My cell phone camera was snapping pictures like gangbusters—I had to capture this inspiration for you!

Little did I know what lay ahead as we began to head upwards—meandering over hairpin curves, climbing elevation to almost 11,000 feet, at snail pace 20 mph speeds and on roads that had only enough room to narrowly let vehicles pass each other in either direction.  Add to that the fact that there were no guard rails.  There was little or no berm.  There were drops of thousands of feet into an abyss of nothing but the massive rocks and rugged mountainside.

Now, I grew up in Southern West Virginia and cut my teeth driving on Route 10 from Man to Logan. This road is one intimidating and dangerous ‘highway’—it’s one that will, if you aren’t accustomed to it, make you wet your pants if you’re driving or a passenger!  As a teenager and well into my 20s and 30s I had no reservations whatsoever about driving this road—I had no fears.  Fast forward several decades, and I’m riding shotgun with Staying Young~~Is There a Secret to This? You Might Try This~~ Ben in an SUV, and we’re on the outside lane of the road heading up this mountain—I can only say that Route 10 was no more than an amusement-like ride—the San Juan Pass was a hair tingling rush!

That brings me to staying young—the purpose again of this post—I had no idea what lay ahead as we climbed that mountain.  My heart was literally racing, my hands were clammy and wet, I was edging literally out of my seat hugging the center console as we rounded curves and the road looked like it might give way—I immediately knew I had to breathe, and I kicked in like gunning a race car my pranayama breathing—what I’d learned and practiced over the years in yoga.  What I really wanted to do was scream ‘STOP THIS CAR! Let me out’ or ‘Turn around!!!’  I knew neither of those were an option at all, period.

Staying Young~~Is There a Secret to This? You Might Try This~~ I had to wrap my head around the situation I was in.  Ben was probably as scared as me as he navigated quietly and calming behind not one, not two but three 18-wheelers ahead of us, each slowly steadily and perfectly climbing, shifting gears, and coming, yes, only hairs from the edge of the roads.

Yes, I made it.  WE made it.  And, I am more confident and assured because of this.  It jolted me like a nuclear explosion out of my ‘comfort’ levels when riding, driving and exploring—that’s what, I know in my mind, is needed to keep my thinking and living fresh and youthful.  So take your head each day to your level of discomfort in something you do—you’re generating synapses and brain stimulation that will, for sure, be novel and invigorating and keep you from lapsing into the stodgy closed world of being ‘old’!  And, a PS to close on~~if you’re in the area and don’t want to drive it, yep, there’s a scenic train ride~~for me, I’d need to take a sedative!

Staying Young~~Is There a Secret to This? You Might Try This~~

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About Ally

14 comments

  1. Wow, did I just get a major case of “mind-rewind”! My husband and I went to Colorado and Wyoming for our honeymoon (25 years ago) and I was just in awe at the beauty of the mountains and scenery. We had arrived in Canyon City, CO at the campground at the Royal Gorge. We went into town to get a few things and, on the way, I saw a road off to the left that said ‘Skyline Drive’, with a beautiful archway. I had been like a kid in a candy store with all of the new and amazing landscape (I am from Alabama) and excitedly asked, “Oooo, what is THAT?” My new husband barely acknowledged my question with a mumble., but then said we could go up the road on the way back. Sooo, on the way back, nighttime now, we started up the nice,wide, smooth, paved road. Within a matter of a few yards, it narrowed into a one-lane, rough, dirt TRAIL (not really a trail, but that’s what it felt like) that didn’t have but maybe two inches of road on either side of our tires, and kept going up and up. I was too shocked to immediately tell him to stop-wait-back up, until I found myself at the TOP of the ridge of the mountain. Oh, you could see the lights of the city below, and I guess it may have even been beautiful; but, I wouldn’t know because, before I was even aware of it, I had hit the floorboard of the truck and was hugging the rubber mat, as if it were somehow going to save me. I had my eyes shut so tight that I was seeing my own stars…I didn’t need the ones I could (almost) reach out and touch! We survived, but HE almost didn’t when I found out that he had BEEN on that road years earlier and knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he tricked me by reverse-psychology, making me think it was my idea! He still gets a laugh out of that, and I still smile and want to wrap m little fingers round….oops! Just kidding! ;0)

    • OMG, Marysue!!! I’m ROMCLOL!! YOU have expressed this infinitely better (more better? THE BEST?) than I have!! Yes, the same w/me…you start up the scenic ‘million dollar’ view highway, and then before you realize it, you’re on a tight-rope ‘highway’!!! You were on the floorboard hugging the mat, and I was clinging to the center console, my butt flipped up off the seat leaning towards my driver hubby, who probably wanted to throttle me!, and we were praying for our lives!! Now the fact that you hubby knew that…oh, man, what a trickster!! I love that you shared this priceless memory w/me and that this post brought back something 25 years ago that has been seared in your mind forever!! Love love your presence here, and please come back…I’m sure along this road of life, we have many more parallels!! xoxo ~~ally :)

  2. Ally, your post brought back memories of driving a semi down some of the treacherous 7% grades in West Virginia — in the fog — at night. Or the “Grapevine” in California. Or any number of “road adventures” with the tail of my trailer (or a front wheel or two…) hanging off a switch-back and “knowing” I’d make it. (For some reason, it always seemed worse viewing it from the passenger seat — I much preferred driving — the MOFW slept right through it, lol!) Accolades to Ben for getting you there safely — and HOOHAH for embracing the THRILL of it. Perspective is everything and CONFIDENCE is the cornerstone!

    You’re right — you’re as young as THINK! The fact that you were snapping photos the whole way is a testimony to your bravado. GORGEOUS shots! “Aging” is an interesting journey (and perhaps more treacherous than the aforementioned mountain roads) but the trick is adapting to where you are and LIVING IT right then and there. That said, however, next time I might take the train. :)

    • Kim…I DID think of YOU as I wrote this post knowing that as a big rig driver YOU had surely done this many many times…and my respect for your skill, acumen, and steel knuckled concentration is beyond what I can even explain! You’re right about ‘aging’…an interesting phenomena, and, truly more treacherous than this trip…and, if you take that train, I’ll go w/you as your weeny scaried pants sissie!! xo

      • Ally, the benefits of train travel are two-fold: 1) You don’t have to drive; and 2) you can have a cocktail if the scenery (and drop in incline) prove to be too much for ya. ;) FYI, I’ve never known you to be a weeny scared-y pants sissy — you’re a Boho BABE who lives on the EDGE!

        • Yeah, Yeah, there are some times when I’ll call ‘uncle’! Ha! Nah, just give me a sedative, and I’ll make this trip just fine!! Hey, I just might do it…for you!!!! xoxoxo

  3. Amen, sister! I’m getting out of my comfort zone in China :) Have fun and keep pushing the boundaries!

    • Kudos, Priscilla! You’re so right, you’re gonna be pushed into some real new zones that bring forth so many different brain sparks!! Love it!! xo

  4. What an inspiration you are! I am like you . I want to live today and enjoy every moment. I try to stay out of the past and future. I set a goal or goals for each day. I get up each day and say, ” This is the day that The Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Those roads looked so scary. Worse than W.Va. It was fun learning to drive in W. Va. “Slow down before you get to the curve. give it the gas and go on around!” LOL Have a great day!

    • I love your thinking, Barbara…you are so very very right…each day is ours to decide…the past and future can’t be manipulated…only the 24 hours you have right there in your hands…you’re the kind of positive soul and spirit that inspires me!! And, yep, our WV mountains gave us some steel driving nerves!! xo

  5. Enjoyed your article. You’re very inspiring. I recently made positive changes on what defines me and what I do. You are never to old to make positive changes in your life. Stay away from negative people and things.

    • Amen, Sister Denise!! You are never never too old!! And, watch out for those you hang out with b/c they can shape you in mysterious ways either negatively or positively! I’m so proud of you…keep making those right changes, taking those risks, and knowing that you are moving towards a better Denise!! xo

  6. From one fellow traveler to another, we meet ourselves on the road. And the lessons are always profound. Love, love this post.

    • Kathy…you are so so right…and, these are the best lessons…thanks for visiting my adventurous friend! Please come back often!! Love to see you! xo

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