As I whizz around on my bike, in the lovely Dorset countryside, it seems easy for me 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 is far better now than it was then.
I know that I have been fortunate enough to avoid serious illness, but maybe all this exercise is the cause of that.
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 aging 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 chant, in time to my breathing, as I cycle my way to wherever.
Here in the UK, we are enjoying a welcome extension to the summer, but it won’t last. 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.
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 wisdom goes a long way.