Mairi's MovementWise Journey

#7: Limiting Beliefs

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All Before Your Time?

It is understood that as we get older, we age. We start to need glasses for reading the newspaper; we ask people to repeat themselves as our hearing starts to fade; we eventually expect to walk with a cane; to get arthritis in our joints and become bent over and hunched. We are however limiting ourselves with these beliefs.

We do not need to accept these changes to our bodies. Our brains can learn new skills, including movement ones, at any age. It is about exposing ourselves to the right information which will keep us curious and interested and build our confidence as we learn. It is essential that we challenge ourselves and our brains as we get older. Just as we are encouraged to learn new languages, do Suduko or read thought-provoking books to keep our brain active as we get older, so we should be encouraged to take up new exercise, sports, physical challenges to keep our bodies active.

My 89-year-old Godmother (left) walking the talk

My 89-year-old Godmother (left) walking the talk

Activate Your Life

Recently I had my 86 year old Godmother from New York to stay. She was as tall and spritely as a 50-year-old and in sharp contrast to my mother who is three years younger than her. My Godmother doesn’t have a car in New York, she walks everywhere, and twice a week she goes to an exercise class organised by the physios in the hospital around the corner. There she focuses on her posture and strength. Together with that my Godmother, who lives alone, is used to carrying her shopping from the supermarket to her apartment three stories up and taking out the rubbish.  When she visited me in France she flew with a small suitcase on wheels which she put in the overhead locker and carried off the plane herself.  She took the bus across Milan asking directions as she went. When she got here she didn’t stop. We sightsaw, we visited friends, we walked the dogs. She never rested. She never paused. My mother, on the other hand, has never carried her own suitcase, has her shopping delivered into her kitchen, goes to an aerobics class for geriatrics once a week and has decided that because she was diagnosed with arthritis in her knee, and is afraid of falling and hurting herself, that she should now slow down her walking. It worries me that my mother is not physically strong and robust.

Age is a funny thing. It’s not the number of years!

Tania has explained that most of my mother’s physical restrictions can be reversed. My mother, like many others, is limiting herself with her beliefs. She believes that her body is slowing down with old age, that it will one day soon, fail her. If she doesn’t change her behaviour soon, she will be right.

My Godmother, however, is still enjoying daily physical challenges which will keep her well and strong into her 90s and beyond.


MovementWise Journey Insights

Tania Cotton

Founder of MovementWise

First and foremost – we are what we repeatedly do. And our beliefs drive our actions, that drive our destiny.

‘We are what we repeatedly do
Excellence then, is not an act but a habit’
~ Aristotle

Many people who sit in a chair all day become chair shaped and then when they stand up, they pull themselves forwards with each step in a stooped position rather than striding through with a confident upright stance. We have all heard the phrase ‘if you don’t use it you lose it’ – well it’s true!

Age is a funny topic – how old are you? How old do you feel inside?  How old do you feel when you move? How old do you look?  We cannot change our chronological age – the number of actual years we have lived, yet we can hugely influence our physiological age – how our body looks, feels and performs as the years go by.  Age is not just something you see on the outside it’s something you sense from the inside.  When you see someone who is truly alive you can see it in their eyes and in their body language. They are YouthFULL!  I have seen 20-year-olds who are old before their time, and 80-year-olds who still have a spring in their step and a lightness in their spirit.

Autonomy, meaning and purpose are fundamental human needs, and fully engaging with and participating in life requires action and interaction.  The perception of who we are and what we are capable of needs to be regularly challenged because many of us do not have, or lose insight into our performance and life potential because we have not found the courage, support or opportunities to step out of our comfort zone and discover what lies beyond.

The inconvenient truth about many of our life ‘conveniences’ is that having things done for us by a machine or by another person can mean that we miss out on valuable opportunities to flex our movement muscles and stimulate our minds.  You cannot separate one from the other. There is good science to support that movement is good for the mind – so mindful movement can help us stay strong both physically and mentally, keeping us ‘on our toes’!

Mairi looks and feels 10 years younger than she did a year ago.  She is doing things in her life now that she previously believed impossible. Becoming MovementWise, learning how to move in a way that can enable you to become competent, self-confident and feel truly alive, is something we want everyone to be able to tap into.

Our MovementWise Workshops will help you identify what you really want to do in your life, what is holding you back and if how you are moving is breaking your body down and making you old before your time?   We will show you in simple, sustainable steps how your thoughts and actions can enable you to be the youngest and most vibrant version of yourself at every milestone of your life.

Discover how YOU can feel truly alive!

Meet Tania Cotton

Tania Cotton avatar

Tania Cotton is a Movement Analyst and Chartered Physiotherapist with 25 years’ experience helping people enjoy better health, performance and become more resistant to pain, injury and disease. She has taught health care professionals and spoken at conferences all over Europe, and for the past 12 years has been a consultant for the Swiss Olympic Medical Centre in Geneva. She makes films on Health and Human Performance to show people what is possible and is the Founder of Movementwise.org.

MovementWise - Empowering people to LIVE their lives