Welcome back to this special series featuring the stories of the Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes as they pursue their fitness goals in 2020. You can find all of our Sponsored Athletes’ stories here.
Liliana Cortez is a freelance bodyworker (someone who uses therapeutic or personal development techniques that involve working with the human body). She’s sharing how years of focusing on her health — through unique and alternative methods — have allowed her to conquer obstacles, and create community. Here’s her story:
“With current events being what they are at present, I’ve written and rewritten this quite a few times. What has come up for me repeatedly is that ‘Being at peace has been, and is, my strength.’ I’ve spent the last 50 of my 76 years in pursuit of the best version of me.
My life has followed a path of curiosity, discovery, and recovery. The decision to become a vegetarian in my 20s, and traveling intensively, set me off on a different trajectory. In my travels, I learned about the traditions, customs, and habits of various cultures, and later, their health practices. This interested me, having been raised in a home where natural remedies were the norm.
Focusing on my own health drew me to the studies of Eastern medicine: Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, and anything to do with body and movement. The realization that my health was my responsibility became my path; my life…
My studies of ancient traditions and yoga have been the seeds from which has blossomed a fulfilled life of constant discovery and unceasing amazement. It’s been about me and my evolution — learning, by practice, that a well-cared-for vessel will serve you, and others as well.
A dramatic decision
At the age of 50, (much to my surprise) I had to make a huge unexpected decision: I was diagnosed with a fibroid and opted not to go through a surgical procedure. In doing so, I had to tap into everything I had absorbed in the past. This culmination of experience and knowledge has allowed me to be much more present in my healing now. Yoga-based exercises (at right) have kept me supple and active well into my 70s. I walk several miles daily, eat consciously, and most recently, am following an intermittent fasting regime. I am feeling great, present, strong, and ready to serve.
“My life has followed a path of curiosity, discovery, and recovery.”
Having taken my good health almost for granted, I realized I could serve others by sharing my personal experience of well-being. I’m presently working out with family and friends from different countries and loving it. We’re using different social media channels, messaging apps, and video chat platforms, like Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom, for now…
As I become more tech-savvy, it has awakened a curiosity in me, asking, ‘Where else can I take my feel-good potential and serve my fellow elder peers?’ I’ve never really set goals, per se — now I do! My dedication to my personal self-care routine has developed a general feeling of wellness and stamina, which by now, can only be completed by sharing it.”