Welcome back to Part III of What My Week in Cozumel Taught Me.
Do you enjoy traveling? I do and so do many of our clients at EFW.
Have you backed away from travel because of physical challenges you face?
Is it because movement isn't as easy as it used to be?
Maybe things such as
✈️ Walking the long concourses at the airport
✈️ Getting in and out of the airplane seats
🧳 Lifting your suitcase from the floor to the scale
↕️ Placing or retrieving your travel gear from the overhead bins
My post today is Part III of a four part series about things I learned and experienced during a recent trip to Mexico with my mom, aged 80, and two friends.
Being 80 doesn't mean traveling is automatically going to be a challenge.
But if you are "out of shape" it can make things so much more challenging.
Something that makes traveling challenging for mom is shortness of breath. Basic cardiovascular endurance.
I knew this. I also knew that she counted on wheelchair help or use of the motorized cars to get her across the concourse.
So arriving to meet her and seeing her already in a wheelchair at the gate didn't surprise me.
Wheelchair service has a few perks. You get help through the security line and you are able to board and deplane the air craft before everyone else to name a few. But there are just as many downsides. For example moving a wheelchair passenger and their bags through customs and then from customs to a connecting flight as well as your own bags. (Challenging and why I was grateful for Karen and Selena on this trip!)
But what happened when we arrived in Cozumel surprised me a little. You see they don't use jetways at the Cozumel airport. They have the old style metal stairs that they push into place. Meaning we had to deplane the old fashioned way.
Of course; this also meant that when we left Cozumel to head home we had to board the plane the same way. And that was a bit more challenging for my mom and several other people also getting on the same plane.
One woman in line with us had both her parents in wheelchairs along with carry on bags. She and her husband had their hands full. And boarding the plane for her parents was ultra challenging. I wondered what the week at a resort was like for them.
Another woman in line shared there was no way her mother could have boarded or disembarked the plane using the steps. She was relieved but sad about her mom not coming on the trip at all.
Of course I hear from our members about successes and challenges they experience while traveling. Including this trip a former client shared with me that has stuck with me ever since.
Several years back we trained Kay. Afflicted with polio as a child, Kay's leg is impaired. She came to me to work on strength and balance to prepare her for a trip she was taking with her siblings to St. Petersburg, Russia. The trip of a lifetime. Kay worked hard. She went on her trip and shared this upon her return.
"I was grateful to have spent the time and money to train with you. My siblings (Kay is a triplet) had not prepared for the trip as I had. Of course, you know Russia. Lot's of steps. Some high, some narrow and lots of uneven terrain. It was a 14-day adventure and several days into our tour we visited the Winter Palace. But my brother was already wiped out and opted to stay on the bus instead of touring the Palace which boasts over 600,000 square feet of lavish rooms. I had no problems."
I was thrilled for Kay but I felt badly for her brother. How unfortunate to have to miss such an iconic part of a trip of a lifetime!
If you are not functionally fit traveling can be challenging and as with Kay's brother disappointing.
My message is that you don't have to curtail activities that you love to do because you're getting older. But you do need a resistance training program to help you maintain and build your strength, stability, and endurance as you age.
In the final part of this series I'm going to address what happens as we age that can cause traveling to be challenging for many folks.
I'll also share some simple strategies that can help right away.
And, if you missed Part I and Part II of this series you can find them on the Evolution Fitness & Wellness website HERE.
Cheers until next time!