Something that I find amusing if not enlightening is listening to people talk about the aging process. Very often, those who have the most definite opinions are those who (probably) have quite a way to go before reaching the nebulous status of being old.
My own version of that observation takes place in the classroom. Due largely to my gray hair, students feel entitled or compelled to ask my age. Depending on my frame of mind, I will either answer that I am 115 or I will smile sweetly and ask, “Didn’t anyone ever tell you that it’s not polite to ask a lady her age?”
Admittedly, I think about the fact that there are a few tasks that I can’t do because I just can’t. While the idea of running a marathon is appealing, the joints in my legs and feet simply won’t allow it. The same is true of downhill skiing, mountain climbing, guitar playing or gymnastics.
But I refuse to grow old instead of getting older. Age is an inescapable reality, being a much better option than its alternative. With that truth, however, I have all choices available to me about growing older with grace and without excuses.
You will never hear me say, “I’m too old to do that” or “I am an old woman and old women don’t indulge in that.” When I see women older than I am participating in dance, marathons, ice skating, writing or numerous other activities, I am inspired to live from intent rather than chronology.
Someday, I half expect that my body will deny me the thrill of finishing a 5k race. For now, I don’t allow for that possibility and often considering entering 10k events. Spending time (almost) daily on my stationary bike is mandatory, not arbitrary. And for as long as my family invites me to join them in Disney World, I will walk the same 10,000 or more steps each day that they do.
Most of us have the option to grow older without growing old. In lieu of so many inexcusable excuses, our bodies are at the discretion of our hearts that are always in charge. Shalom.