As we age it is important to stay in shape. This is not easy, but who said life was going to be easy?
My mum lived until she was 92. She developed dementia and had to be put in a home at 90. Until then, she walked every day at 6 am for the previous twenty years.
She would walk for 2 miles around one of the large malls in Victoria BC. All her friends walked inside but my mum would put on her large headset, start the marching music, and off she would go.
The only time she would agree to walk inside was if there was ice on the ground. She kept track of her miles and would let us know how far across Canada she had gone.
They would all meet up at the local McDonalds for their coffee. The seniors’ rate with a free refill. My mum and her crew were depression-era kids and they didn’t waste money…ever.
While my mum wasn’t an athlete she could work and walk rings around anyone half her age.
My dad was a natural athlete and played numerous sports as a young man but as he aged it just wasn’t done. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my dad’s athletic abilities. I did however get my mum’s hard work gene.
My thing is running. I love running. I really do. Am I any good? Not one bit. But as I have said in other blog posts I don’t care. I like it and that’s what I am going to do for as long as I can. I solve world problems, set up scenes for my murder mystery repeatedly until it works, and let my brain do some kind of arithmetic as I run.
Now before you think I am some math genius, let me set you straight. When I am getting too winded and think I can’t go on I try to work out how fast (slow?) I am running based on how long I have been running and how far I have gone.
Believe me, when you are working with an oxygen-derived brain you might have to do the math more than a few times. By that time you’ve got your breath back and solving world problems again.
I have a hero who I read about in the magazine Runner’s World 2015. His name is David Arst and he is an attorney from Wichita, Kansas. He was still practicing at that time. He switched from running marathons at 70 to doing triathlons. In 2015 he won the 80–84 division at the USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships finishing in 1:57. When he started with triathlons he didn’t know how to properly swim so “he jumped in and figured it out.”
He says “ You have to get out of bed first — that’s the hardest part. Of course, I have sore knees and a bad back, but so what? I’m 80!”
I love his enthusiasm for life. It really doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do but you have to do something. I know I will hear that you were never any good at sports and it’s just not your thing, but anybody can walk, especially if you make it social.
There are lots of reports of people in their later years that have taken up some type of exercise and then excelled at it. Some people just never had the time, what with family, work, and other obligations. Once they retire, their time is their own and this is what they choose to do. Check on Google for senior athletes. It is quite inspiring.
So. What sport are you going to take up? Grab a friend and get going!