I got to thinking yesterday–already a good sign because thinking means I’m awake–about my sleep quotient of late. I realized that I can’t even remember the last time I took an afternoon nap. Sure it was probably within the last few months, but that’s quite a stretch for me. And I haven’t been forcing myself to stay awake; I just haven’t felt the need to nod off.
This is fantastic news because I’ve read that people who sleep either too little or too much are at higher risk of dying sooner than those who get adequate sleep (between 7 and 8 hours per night). I want to sleep eight hours per night like the healthy person I used to be and wake up refreshed and ready for my day. I also don’t want to die anytime soon because I’m currently fairly healthy for a cancerous person. Dying unexpectedly would be a cruel joke.
I’ve been getting more done during the day, yawning less, staying out of the house longer, and feeling much less foggy. Where did tired Annie go? Does it matter so long as I’m feeling fairly well for someone with leukemia? No, it does not. I may not be a going concern until the wee hours, but maybe someday soon I’ll go to an early movie or something outrageous like that.
But if I really want to stay alive, there’s one more physical test I have to pass: The Sit Rise Test (SRT for short). The SRT was developed in Brazil as a predictor of longevity. It’s a rough measure of physical strength, balance, and flexibility. My yoga idol Kathy first introduced me to the test a while back, and she has demonstrated the move many times with ease. (No wonder I want to be more like her when I grow up.) To pass the SRT, I have to lower myself to the ground from standing and then rise all the way back up without any support, bodily or otherwise. The more support I need to do the task, the lower my score is and the sooner I’m predicted to kick the bucket.
Because I want to live to a ripe old age, I have tried to do the SRT several times to no avail. I can lower myself down but I don’t have the leg strength to get up without support of some kind. But in her most recent fantastic on-line yoga summer camp class (check camp out here), Kathy encouraged her devotees to try it. She prefaced the move with something like “It will be fun!” or “You’re gonna love it!” Whenever Kathy prefaces anything in this way, I know that the movement will be well beyond my capability. But I love a challenge, so I gave it the old yoga try.
Boy, did I ever hurt my foot. That’s what happens when I try to be too macho for my own good. I’m all healed now, but I learned my lesson. Sometimes I need to leave my idols alone on the pedestals I’ve created for them, knowing I’ll never merit an invitation up. Scratch my low SRT; with my perfect sleep quotient, I’ll have many years to aspire to such greatness.