As I pootle around on my bike, it’s easy to forget that I am in my late fifties.
I don’t feel any older than I did forty years ago, in fact, my stamina and fitness is far better now than it was then.
I admit that I have been fortunate enough to avoid serious illness, but maybe my diet and all this exercise has helped me stay well.
Daisaku Ikeda, in his daily encouragement, sees things slightly differently, but the principles are very much the same …
In the twinkling of an eye we grow old. Our physical strength wanes and we begin to suffer various aches and pains.
We practice Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism so that instead of sinking into feelings of sadness, loneliness and regret, we can greet old age with an inner richness and maturity as round and complete as a ripe, golden fruit of autumn.
Faith exists so that we can welcome, smiling and without regrets, an old age that is like a breath-taking sunset whose dazzling rays colour heaven and earth in majestic hues.
So if, like a few of my friends, you are thinking ‘I should really be doing more to stay fit, to look after this ageing body, but I just don’t have time … maybe tomorrow’ don’t put it off another day. It’s not all about Buddhist Practice, though I do sometimes chant, in time to my breathing, as I cycle my way to wherever.
Here in the South, we are enjoying a welcome warm, dry start to Spring, but it won’t last. The rain will be back before we know it, so get your bike out, get your running shoes on, get into those speedos (ok, maybe not), but whatever you decide to do, get out in the fresh air, stretch those legs, fill those lungs and make the causes for a longer, fitter, happier life.
SERIOUS NOTE: If you haven’t done any exercise for a while, maybe you should go and talk to your doctor before going nuts and doing some lasting damage. A little WCC goes a long way.