By Michelle Hespeler, with guest blogger Vicki Kulas
Many of us have insecurities. Actually, everyone has insecurities. And that is great and normal. We can’t be good at everything, but everyone is good at something. Some of us are good at writing, but stink at math. Some are very well read and educated, but have no common sense. Some people are great athletes, but aren’t god cooks. You get my point I am sure. Even with insecurities, everyone still has worthiness, and everyone needs to believe they have good qualities to offer to this world. Unfortunately, many people don’t think they are worthy of doing good things, or that they are not good enough to do something or voice an opinion.
Before others can think of you as important and worthy, you must first be worthy of yourself and love yourself. You must accept weaknesses and focus on strengths. And that could change as we get older, or it can change when you get a diagnosis of any kind. All people change as we age, with Parkinson’s or without. We aren’t living in the same world we were 40 years ago and we don’t have the same body we had 40 years ago. Our body has worked hard and it slows down and gets tired. We can keep it as healthy as possible, but some things are inevitable. We must accept the new normal. We must embrace who we are today and love ourselves for who we are.
Please read Vicki’s story below, where she shares her journey about accepting her new normal. It’s hard, but can be done with some mental strength − and determination to be the best you can be,no matter what is given to you. Adapt and overcome.
My New Normal by Vicki Kulas
I recently realized that I need to adjust my mindset and stop trying to compete with my “younger self.” My younger self enjoyed sports like gymnastics and biking (I even tried learning how to ride a dirt bike!). I enjoyed speed-walking/jogging and aerobics classes – I felt physically strong. As I aged, the physical strength has remained pretty constant because I’ve remained active by taking group fitness classes and taking on more physical household and outside chores (helping my husband with snow removal, raking, gardening, etc.).
But … I’ve come to the realization that I am aging. My mind is still young and vibrant, but my joints are starting to tell me I need to be more aware of the fact that, like an old car, my parts are wearing out! I have arthritis now and I know I need to stop the high impact, aggressive exercising I was so accustomed to. It’s time to take a look at my “current self” and begin treating it with more care and gentleness. I don’t intend to stop moving; just to do it with more awareness and forethought.
When I learned that my sister was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, my direction changed from thinking about my own self to how I could possibly share my passion and belief that exercise can really make a difference with people with Parkinson’s. Teaching classes for Beat PD Today has given me a true purpose and I love seeing the improvements people are making – not only physically, but emotionally! It also keeps me moving.
I’ve accepted my “new normal” and will stop competing with my younger self. No matter what, I will continue to exercise, practice positive affirmations and spread kindness.