Sunday, February 21, 2010

Going Physical

At 64, I am still hoping to find out more about myself so that my life can be balanced, joyful and productive. The list below is part of a much bigger questionnaire (there are questions on other aspects of life) and deals more with my physical skills. I was shocked to find out that I could not check even one on this list.

Having finger dexterity
Good hand and eye coordination
Gross motor coordination
Having agility, speed & stamina
Crafting, sewing, carving, sculpting
Finishing, painting, restoring etc
Cooking, baking
Assembling machines or equipment
Operating, driving machines/equipment
Maintaining machines or equipment
Constructing buildings or rooms
Taking care of animals

How could that be? What did I do with my life? Or with my body? For sure, I was never a couch potato. Except for Oprah and Suze Orman, TV holds no appeal for me. Did I just read, write and do paperwork? I don’t suppose account servicing and managing could be considered physical activities. Did I just sit in front of my computer? Although I must admit that I enjoy long after-dinner conversations, do I just spend my leisure time chatting with friends? Am I essentially a spectator, a passenger, a listener?

Embroidery, sewing, pottery, carpentry, cooking, baking – I’ve tried them all but could not go beyond introductory levels – there was not one that I was passionate about to pursue through the years.

You would not believe how many times I’ve enrolled in driving classes – maybe 5 or 6 times, and yet I still don’t drive alone. But, hey, I have a driver’s license.

I love animals but have not taken care of any of them. One daughter raised a cat; another takes care of our dogs and an African lovebird, while my husband volunteers as an elephant-keeper at our local zoo. Which pet can really be mine to take care of? Not even Tomagotchi, I’m afraid.

Playing a piano? Nope, never learned it, even though I bought a piano for our home, and encouraged my children to learn it.

Boy, I’m starting to feel useless – I love gardens and plants, but don’t do any gardening. My thumb is brown, or maybe red or orange!

Now that I’ve reached six decades and four, I can perhaps offer my advance age as my excuse for not having stamina, agility or speed, but I don’t remember joining any sports or race even in my youth, so I would be unfairly blaming old age for my lethargy. There was a time I tried Tetris but have yet to find a computer game, or a physical activity such as volleyball or badminton, or even ballroom dancing in which I could excel. Oh, no, we’re not even talking excellence here; we’re just talking “do.”

Please help! Where, when and how do I start to acquire physical skills? Do I choose one and not give up until I’ve mastered it? Then which one? I always tell myself that it’s never too late to learn something new, but is this checklist telling me that physical skills are really not in my DNA?


Anonymous said...

tita harvs! try walking / running with tito john. it's really easy to do and there's almost no science to it :) - kurt

harveychua0208 said...

Hi Kurt,
Thanks for the suggestion, and for reading my blog. Your Tito John is into a lot of things but walking does not seem to be one of them. I suppose if I can show some will power, then he would join me. :)

Chet said...

I've been taking morning walks quite regularly. I even bought a Nike+ Sportsband which is linked to my account at so that my walks are posted on my Facebook status which help to motivate me to walk more!

I also take the stairs in my apartment block at least once a day. My apartment is on the 7th floor and I get off on the 2nd floor and walk up to my floor.

Oh, I can drive, but I can't cook or bake or craft or sew or carve or sculpt ...

Sacha Chua said...

Rosemary is a sturdy plant and very hard to kill. =) That's what we started with.

May be time to pick up knitting again?

harveychua0208 said...

Dear Sacha,
Thanks for the suggestion, but I can't imagine knitting when we are approaching a 40˚C summer. Maybe embroidery - but there are no children's socks or undershirts to embroider.

I think I will go for the walking - it will be good for me. I just need to learn to pull myself out of bed at 6am! That's the bigger challenge.

Pepin said...

Yep, sobrang "in" ngayon ang walking and jogging!

Try signing up for the 3km races so you have a goal. You really don't have to run.

Try swimming too! Kahit lakarin mo lang from one end of the pool to another.

harveychua0208 said...

Great suggestion, Pepin - especially about walking around the pool - since I can't swim. :)