/The fine line

The fine line

By Laurie Sweig

I love moving my body. That may not be a surprise to anyone. I have always maintained some level of fitness. My fitness has ebbed and flowed over the years but it has always allowed me to do what I wanted to do at any given time.

I’m heading into my second spring of country living. I love the country life and all of the physical work it entails. My plan this year was to jump into all of the spring-type chores with gusto. Up until a week ago I felt great. My weight is down, I don’t have any serious aches or pains. The chainsaw feels lighter than it did last year. However, a small piece of awareness unpacked itself in front me – a case of PVD. It was my second case in six months. It’s now happened once in each eye. Posterior Vitreous Detachment occurs when the vitreous gel that fills the eye separates from the retina.

Apparently it’s a natural change that happens as we age. The big concern is that the symptoms (seeing floaters and flashing lights) can also be indicative of a retinal tear or detachment. Thankfully those were both ruled out by an ophthalmologist.

The ophthalmologist assured me that my recent activities (tackling spring chores with gusto) did not bring on the PVD. I’m choosing not to believe him. No disrespect. During the week or so leading up to the PVD episode my behaviour was extreme. It was like I had something to prove. I’m not sure who I was proving it to but I was on some ridiculous mission. Full days of physical activity. I was thinking: there’s so much to do, I feel good and I’m ready to get things done! Boom. There it was. The message. The correction. I can’t move as much as I thought. I can’t say that this bout of extreme activity caused the PVD but it did leave me exhausted. I believe I went over a line. The fine line between just enough and too much.

It’s a tricky line to walk. If we don’t move enough we put our bodies at risk of various diseases and ailments (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc). If we do too much there’s the potential of injury. I believe the answer lies in getting as close to that line as possible. Stepping over it is a risk. The best thing to do then is to stop and take stock. I’m doing that now. I’m making changes that will, I hope, keep me moving for a very long time. I’m working on a better balance between physical and mental tasks that need doing. I’m becoming OK with leaving things half done and coming back to them after a break. I’m building in a rest time part way through my day. Sometimes that means taking a nap, and I’m okay with that.

Part of this adjustment means cutting back on some of my commitments. Writing these articles on a weekly basis is one of the commitments I am going to change. To give me a bit more time to cut wood, rake leaves or nap I’ll be here every two weeks. It’s important to stay on the healthier side of that fine line.
Something to think about.

Laurie Sweig is a certified personal fitness trainer and spinning instructor. She owns and operates The Point for Fitness. She can be reached at laurie@thepointforfitness.com.