action, adaptation, ageing, life

Give ‘The Finger’ and feel good about it.


It was only yesterday that I had to GIVEthe finger. And I felt good about it.

You must be thinking, “gee Paul, isn’t that a bit vulgar?!”

Well, you’re entitled to think what you want to think, but before you form an opinion, read a little further.

I give ‘the finger’ at least once a week here in Sydney and it gives me a sense of gratitude when I do. For me, this gesture that involves “the finger” is just one of the many ways, however small it is, to GIVE.

Yes, you read right – to GIVE. I really feel great when I give ‘the finger!’.

Let me elaborate…

Olivia and I were on our way home from our ‘Daddy-daughter’ excursion yesterday. As we turned off the main road, I slowed the car as I saw an elderly lady on the curb wishing to cross.

I came to a complete stop, looked up at the lady as I raised ‘the finger’ (my index finger) and she smiled at me.

The finger was raised (some of you probably raise the hand) with a little nod of the head and a responsive smile, acknowledging her and giving her right of way to cross the road. The elderly lady slowly made her way, moving her aged frame, step by step past the front of the car. I studied her movements and tried to ‘feel’ the discomfort she was feeling as she walked.

My observations told me that she obviously had postural issues that impacted on her ease of mobility (in this case, simply walking). It appeared she had excessive scoliosis and her gate was severely limited. And the expression on her face gave me some idea of the pain she was experiencing each step she took.

But I wondered, no I am certain she wasn’t always like this. She once was walking straighter, bouncing around full of vitality and walking as if there wasn’t a care in the world. When she was younger …. Part of HER STORY.

Everyone has a story. She is writing hers as you are the author of yours.

It makes me think about the millions of other aged persons in the world who experience unwanted discomfort in carrying out the most basic of tasks like walking, every single day. Not a nice way to live out the remainder of their lives.

It is a slippery slope for a lot of older men and women from a physical stand-point. For all of us actually as we are constantly ageing.

Fewer skeletal muscles due to atrophy and lack of muscle-use compounds the difficulties experienced in mobility (refer to my previous blog for top 3 pointers to get started).

But the thing is – physical pain is not the worst part!

No, I believe it is the mental, spiritual and emotional pain.

The lack of mobility leads to the worst problem: the persons’ deteriorating ‘sense of self’ and ‘self-worth’ and ‘self-image’. Now this is where the risk is highest. An exaggerated view of the lack of the above issues can cause an accelerated journey towards the grave. Why? Because I think they lose their dignity. Nobody likes to lose their sense of dignity… and should not be allowed to.

Nobody. Every person has a STORY.

Remember: it is never too late to start a weight-bearing exercise program. Never too late, no matter how old you are and how out of condition you are in.

Start. Today. Start – Now!

Two or three times per week. Put yourself in that old lady’s shoes. Seize life by the horns and take back control of your state of mind to lead you towards building muscles. Take back control of your body. Your spirit. Take care of your WHOLE – SELF.

Think about it.

Build this anti-ageing magical essence (muscle) and EMPOWER the most important person in the world to you: YOU. You have the power in your hands now to partially help your state of dignity in old age. Put those weights in your hands and lift. Lift as if your life depended on it!

The sad thing is that IT DOES. The quality of your last 20 years of your life in old age depends on the available muscle you have. Do yourself that favour before it is too late.

Back to my drive with Olivia ….

As the old lady approaches the other side of the road she looks back, produces a thankful smile and GIVES me ‘the finger’ too.

I was grateful for that gesture. I gave respect and she returned it. Thank you.

I smile again in response and say a little prayer for her as I stepped on the accelerator and drive off home with a sense of gratitude but also a sense of sadness too.

A sadness in my heart for the pain and discomfort that that lady and many aged persons like her in the world experience every single day, slowly eating away at their dignity and quality of life.

The scary thing is that these ‘aged-related illnesses’ are increasingly affecting younger generations today, but I will leave that observation for a future blog.

If there is one gift you could buy yourself or your mum/dad or grandparents that could have the biggest impact on a life – buy them a gym membership and get them help to empower themselves (physically). That could turn out to be the most important gift you may ever buy for you or your loved ones.

Everyone now, all raise ‘the finger’ to yourself in the mirror and just DO IT! Remind yourself about what “the finger” represents – respect. Respect to YOU.

“Do what? “, I hear you say.

I say: “Build, protect and preserve your muscles. It WILL serve you well in the years ahead.”

All the best in your decision.

Until next time,

Side Triceps. Australian Natural Bodybuilding Championships. Lost by 2 points. Final placing: Runner-up.

Side Triceps.
Australian Natural Bodybuilding Championships.
Lost by 2 points.
Final placing: Runner-up.


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