Friday, December 4, 2015

Get Up and Move!

We had a last fun day before Callie went back to the East Coast. Seth and Anna were already gone so it was just her and I. We walked to Bonny’s first thing in the morning. As we were visiting, Callie was doing her usual moving, bending, stretching, rarely sitting. Bonny asked if her back was hurting. “No,” Callie said, “I’m just stretching.”

Bonny keyed right into that and proceeded to tell her how old people quit moving far too early and bring on the very ailments they habitually complain about. Then she mimicked an old person hobbling from one sitting perch to the next around her dining table and scolded an imaginary senior: “Hell-a-mighty, get up and move!”

We laughed and said that the quote would go great on the wall of Callie’s someday studio - in big letters where her clients could memorize the message ending with a flourish of credit to “grandma Bonny.”

It is remarkable that these two women, Cal at 29 and grandma at 96, are of like minds when it comes to movement. Bonny doesn’t know “saunter,” instead she rises from a chair and takes off double time (yes, we cringe when she does it fearing a fall, but alas).  

In Bonny’s day, of course, you worked hard just to survive. She was driven by a depression era work ethic and a will to get a lot of things done every day. Grandpa was a hard worker as well. While he tended the livestock and crops, she steadfastly defended the home front. After I married into the family, grandpa’s cousin and a good friend of Bonny’s gave me some advice, “Don’t try to keep up with Bonny!”

On a side note Bonny admits now that she was too fussy about white, whites and impeccable organization. I think she wishes she had taken more time for personal enjoyment. But that’s another blog.

Our Callie, a modern dancer certified to teach yoga and restorative exercise, preaches: you are how you move. And that good physical health is not hitting the treadmill in the basement, going to the gym, lifting weights or running marathons. Instead it’s about how you move throughout your day. We should all take heart. What great news!

I’m trying to incorporate what she teaches. Don’t just sit while doing sedentary activities, change it up. Get on the floor while watching TV, vary your sitting position or create a standing work station when you’re at the computer. Keep those ham strings and calf muscles stretched out to negate the consequences of sitting. Train track your feet straight ahead when you stand and walk. And walk, walk every day; it’s the perfect exercise.

And there’s more. Bonny was born with scoliosis. Her little back is twisted terribly, but she still has better carriage than many folks half her age. Is she perfect? No. Can you and I do better from her example? Hell-a-mighty yes!

67 years apart and not that different

Steadying Birdie while Mark takes her shoes off for the winter


  1. Great blog! Good advice from two wise women! Love them both.

  2. Love that grandma Bonny. Miss our coffee times.

  3. Love that grandma Bonny. Miss our coffee times.

  4. Great advice. I'll move a little more today.

  5. Yes, Bonny was a good friend to my folks. I remember going to their home when I was little. What a gem