Being a 55 year old woman I never thought I would have to relearn my body all over again. Before I hit 50 I never really gave much thought to my body changing so drastically. I thought I would be fine because I have been physically fit my entire life. I thought to myself many of times, I exercise and eat right on a daily basis, what do I have to worry about. If only I had taken a moment to do some research before I hit age 50 I could have voided these mistakes.

Mistake #1 – “I can eat whatever I want, my digestive system can handle it!”

Big mistake, big! In my mind my metabolism was the same now as it was when I was in 30s and 40s. I love the occasional fast food, White Castles sliders are my favorite fast food of choice, but what I have also learned is that these same foods do not metabolize the same way as they did in my 30 and 40 year old body as they do in 50 year old body. I have spent a great deal of time looking for those foods that most agree with my new found metabolism.

Mistake #2 – Recovery time after sporting activities or working out will not change.

As a 55-year-old competitive pole dancer and someone who’s been physically active my entire adult like I did not know there would be longer recovery times. What I have learned is to rely on items as ice packs, ointments, bandages, and pain relievers. Recovery times after physical activities are absolutely going to take some time, note to self give your aging body time to heal and recover.

Mistake #3 – There is no way you can injure yourself doing activities you have always done.

Big mistake! For more than 15 years I was a step aerobics instructor. I considered myself to be one of the best step aerobics instructors there was in my day. It had been over 10 years since I had touched a step and riser, but I thought I would be perfectly fine to one decided to dust off the step and riser and do some cardio. Unfortunately two minutes into doing a step routine, while stepping off the step I felt a snap in the bottom of my foot as I was stepping on step. There was instant pain and I could not bare any weight on my foot. I thought to myself, it will be fine after a day or two. Two days later and the same pain was there. Went to a ortho doctor and sure enough I had torn my plantar fasciitis. Lesson learned….you cannot just jump back into an activity you had not warmed up for or had not executed in years.

Photo by: Regina Sykes

Key take away

I continue to navigate this 50 year old body, I try not rake in the mistakes and lessons learned, yet they just seam to happen. While I am grateful for being the age I am, I often struggle with the body I once had, the body I had grown accustom to living in. I am never naïve to the fact that my body is aging, but I am still in that learning curve of what this 50+ body is capable of achieving. I also make sure to learn from my mistakes, but I also know I look darn cute as a broken ballerina while navigating this fitness over 50 journey I am on.

Photo by: Regina Sykes