Wednesday, 19 September 2012
What is Age?
By Johna Ferguson
So you think you're getting old because you have more wrinkles on your face, more fat around your middle, must wear glasses and, some of us, hearing aids. Well let me tell you how I feel about it all.
I look at age as just a chronological number that changes yearly. So far no scientist has found a way to turn the calendar back. Sure lots of doctors have told you in many ads on TV that you can take years away with this or that treatment, but actually you are still the same age once the procedure is done.
I spend a lot of time at a retirement home just a few blocks from my house. I take advantage of their exercise, yoga and tai chi classes and I have spent a lot of time just looking around at that population and talking to them.
In one seated exercise class there are three women who are in their late 90s yet they never fail to come to that bi-weekly, 50-minute class. When I ask them why they come, they say to keep their minds alert as well as their bodies, especially their balance.
Two of them come with walkers, the other with a cane but they say they won’t slow down or they might never get up.
In one of the standing exercise classes are two women who just turned 90, neither using a cane or walker. I find in all my classes age really has nothing to do with it; how they manage their body is what matters.
Some just relax in the 92 degrees Fahrenheit pool. I do volunteer once a week to go into the pool with a woman; she’s just in her 80’s but cannot walk without the aid of her walker – well, except in the pool where she walks back and forth for 30 minutes.
She admits she can’t swim anymore, her legs just won’t kick, but that does not deter her from exercising by walking in the pool.
So lets not put ourselves into an age category. We’re all getting older and some of us have more problems then others but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that we realize our limitations and then do our best to at least keep them at bay. It takes real dedication and determination, I know, to do that.
I am not a morning person but I walk to two classes at 8:45AM. Every time that day arrives I think, oh I won’t go this morning, I’m too tired. But something inside tells me to get up, dress, eat and get on my way - rain, snow or shine.
What drives me is that I have been able to bounce back after many serious health problems including two heart procedures. But I swear that unless I pushed myself, I might find it easier to just sit and read a book. I’m just 82 and I know that in future years more problems may crop up, but I hope to face them with a smile and a walk outside and smell the roses if possible.
Therefore I hope all of you are doing something to get your blood moving through your body - not only your body but also your brain. Enjoy the challenge.
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