Thursday, 17 January 2013
fifteen years older than I am now
is when old age begins, as has been said. Here is the great Diana Nyad on older athletes. An inspiration. I am not sporty or keen on fitness, never have been. When I was about 13 a school PE teacher suggested to me that I join the swim squad. I said no. Sport wasn't cool, in 1967. It's one of my few regrets. You don't last long, as a serious swimmer, so it doesn't take that much time out of your life in which you could be doing other things. However, I swim now. My goal this year (by the autumn), is to swim a kilometre front crawl. I can do it easily breaststroke, and further than that. But breaststroke is too slow. Well, I will be 59 this year, and because I was never sporty or took exercise to speak of when I was younger, there is not much "muscle memory" there. But I do make progress, and each goal achieved not only feels good but takes me a step further to healthy and active old age. So I can party when I'm 90. I stopped smoking almost ten years ago. I have always liked a drink, probably always will, but am not drinking at present. I had some work done on my dodgy ankles (genetic flat feet) four years ago (all hail the French health service!) and can now walk for an hour or more without pain, and do so regularly. I ride a bike, though I confess to not cycling to work when there is snow and ice, as there is at present - but that's not much of the year. And I swim several times a week, and do a Pilates class - which anyone, of any age and fitness level, can do. All these things make me feel good. So why wouldn't everyone do them? I'm feeling a bit down for various Life reasons at present, and when I get out of the pool later I will be a lot less down than when I got in. It's worth it for that alone, isn't it?