Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Old" People

I have been thinking a lot lately about the other side of the hill. You know, I've crested the hill and am on the downward slide, that type of thought. What do I want to do with that sledding adventure?

I have to say, I have always enjoyed those who are significantly older than me. When I was in my early-mid 30s, I taught night classes on basic computers at the local community college. I absolutely enjoyed my students. I would guess the average age was late 50s, early 60s. People who wanted to learn about this "computer stuff" so they could email their kids who lived on the coast and see pictures of their grandkids. They were always so eager to learn. Just a treat to spend time with. Just so thankful to be learning. Unlike, say, a 16 yr old who loathes algebra class, and was sure they were dying a slow death sitting in that class for an entire semester.

On the last night of one of my classes, an "old" guy brought me a dozen eggs from his farm. My grandma made for me approx. 10 pounds of potato salad from those eggs. It was one of the most enjoyable gifts ever. To know he was so thankful, and thoughtful. I was just tickled.

Last week in my power pump class at the YMCA, I happened to be standing beside an older gentleman who is there every week, without fail. He has his 5 lb. weights, and keeps up as best he can. Picture it: white socks, black shoes, pasty white legs, shorts up to his ribs... probably feeling it way more than I do the next day, but he's back for the next class.

I can only hope to have that much drive and commitment, and pray that I have my health. He doesn't know it, but he is really a motivator for me. I recall an older woman who always worked out at the Scottsbluff YMCA. She was always in the weight room, and I would see her out on the path walking, not just walking, but almost run-walking.

Not to mention the 60+ yr olds that kick my a$$ hauling past me on my bike tours.

That's what I want to be doing for the next, eh, 40 years+. Keeping after it even when it feels like hell. The "I'm going to give it my all until my last breath." Leave it all on the table.

These "old" people are, in my mind, the most youthful people a person could find. They are more "young" than any person who is 30 laying on the couch grasping the chips for dear life.

So here's a shout out to "old people." It's truly only in your mind, and I hope to be right there with you for the next 40.


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