I’m totally doing water aerobics when I get older. When I went to the pool yesterday for a little hour-long aquajog, I stumbled across one of the liveliest groups of senior citizens I’ve ever seen and it wasn’t just because they were laughing and chatting so loud that I thought I was the butt of their joke. These sisters were getting after their fitness in the shallow end! Rockin’ out to The Mamas & The Papas, early Billy Joel and Earth, Wind & Fire, these blue-haired divas sported adorable non-skirted one pieces and sass to match. I bet the lifeguard teachers love heading up those classes!
It’s easy to laugh at the idea of things like water aerobics because we associate it with old people activities and the idea of old people activities sounds stale and likely smells a bit like mothballs. Don’t shoot the messenger, but the reality of it is that we’re all going to be old someday, and it’s how we approach those golden years that will make them enjoyable or simply place us in God’s waiting room. I completely buy into the theory that you are as old as you feel… well, maybe not always physically, because any distance runner can tell you that there are days when you know there are more spry 80 year olds out there.
I regularly find myself being told that I do not look all of my 29 years and while that can be annoying at times, I often appreciate that observation and enjoy the fact that my age doesn’t even really match my mindset. Sure, I have the life experience of a 29-year-old and find myself wise beyond my years in some capacities, but my approach to living matches the enthusiasm and somewhat reckless abandon of someone who just doesn’t know how not to try. I don’t know when or even if there will come a turning point when I “grow up” and either lose that approach or realize it’s best to just tone things down, but if I want to continue enjoying my experiences, feeling young & lively and believe that failure is not an option, I have to block out that little voice that tells me, “No!” Why should getting older mean having less fun? I’m still meeting people, learning new things all of the time and discovering just exactly what it is that makes me, well, me. If one day those things just cease to exist, I might just have to knock on that waiting room door and ask, “Mind if I cut?”
Living where I do, I see a, um, mature population all of the time and can’t help but notice how different the life in the years of some people can be. You’ve got your “Don’t look a day over 65” 90-year-olds and your “Help! I might break a hip!” 65-year olds. Given my diatribe on aging and my genetics (you’d never actually correctly guess how old Carol and Dan are. Trust me.), I’ll likely be the former, and am most definitely terrified of the latter. While my hips and knees may not age flawlessly, I’d like to think that if the time comes, modern medicine can help a sister out and get me back into the active world within a few weeks. In the meantime, I can join the ladies at the pool and work on my tan while staying cool… and whisper about that cute lifeguard boy and how my granddaughter would be perfect for him.