Not so long ago, when I was a sweet young thing, I thought 60 was old. All the 60 year-olds I knew complained of sore knees, backs and shoulders. They discussed their ailments and operations at every social gathering and groaned when they got up from a sitting or lying position. They all had grey hair, were pleasantly plump and seemed content that the end of their days were drawing nigh. Conversations with them were always interesting as they reminisced about the ‘good old days’ None of them jogged, rode bicycles or went to gym. Few worked, all had grandchildren and nobody’s kids still lived at home.
I think that somewhere along the line I’ve lost count of the years. I know that I’m turning 60 tomorrow because I was born in 1952 – but how did 1992 to 2012 flash by so quickly? I till feel like I’m 40 and I think still live my life like a 40 year old.
I should start acting my age – but instead what do I do? Kicking and screaming I drag myself off to a personal trainer twice a week. The idea is to keep my back from caving in and ensuring the joints and muscles don’t seize up. Gentle exercise is what I expected. It all started innocently enough and was nothing like the variety of activities that I’d tried before – from Jane Fonda aerobics and feeling the burn to gym circuits, cycling and jogging. None of these hectic activities can compare to what I put myself through now with a personal trainer who has worked miracles with me – no more back pain, no aches in my joints – which is why I keep going. But really isn’t it a little inelegant for a girl my age to be hanging upside down on unstable rings, doing pikes on a stability ball and playing slam dunk with a ball that doesn’t bounce. Should I be skipping rope like a 7 year-old, exhausting myself doing burpies and straining my aging brain with manoeuvres that require a dancer’s co-ordination?
I’m being brainwashed that it is all good for me. All this exercise – as weird as it is and honestly I never know what crazy thing I’m going to be required to do next – is supposed to prevent Alzheimer’s, increase bone density and prevent all sort of other things that make you old.
Well maybe it is working because once a young man – a very young man – said he couldn’t believe I was older than his mother. “You have a personal trainer, don’t you?” he guessed.
So tomorrow I will proudly turn 60, grateful that I still have the energy to help raise a family, have a career that I love and indulge in my outdoor passions.
Thanks to my excellent hairdresser for preventing my hair from revealing my true age, my personal trainer for keeping me fit and my family and friends for giving me emotional stability because really its that, which really keeps me feeling young.