Once a month I call bingo for a group of “older adults.” Each month we celebrate whoever is having a birthday. This month Norma stood up and told me she recently turned 80, but felt 60. One of the other ladies quickly chimed in that Norma ran a marathon on Saturday.
I walked toward Norma to question her about the marathon. She corrected the other woman and assured me she ran a 5k, not a marathon. Still….she’s 80!
Another woman stood beside Norma and told me she is the same age as Norma, but looks much older. I did not agree with her (that would have been rude!) but she was right. My mom is part of this Senior Citizen group. I often wonder how much longer Mom will be able to live independently because so many things are “wrong” with her. Mom is 4 years younger than Norma.
The more I talked to Norma the more I realized her youth was a result of her attitude. She is determined to stay young and active as long as she can.
I understand many people are unfortunate to acquire crappy genetics and some people have the misfortune of being involved in a physically damaging accident. However, many people, many many people simply choose to be lazy. How many of us reached middle age and found our rear ends attached to the recliner and our hand to the remote?
I was lucky to realize my future would look bleak if I did not make some changes. At the age of 43 I quit smoking and replaced that addiction with the addiction of exercise. Along with exercise came the desire to eat healthier. I will be the first to admit I continue to struggle with food but my new bad is so much better than my old bad.
Next month I will turn 53 (the age my dad died of an unexpected massive heart attack). At the age of 50 my life long friend and I ran a half marathon in celebration of our birthdays. This past Sunday I completed my first sprint triathlon. June 4th I will complete a 100 mile bike ride.
What will I do next? I don’t know but I hope I’m just like Norma when I grow up!