STAYING FIT OVER SIXTY

There I was on the cover of a national magazine, eldr, in spring 2008, when I was 66 years old, sitting back in the arms of an attractive man (an architect who had lost his job and thought he’d try his hand at modeling), and you wouldn’t know I was wearing underwear. It tickled the heck out of me (and my husband) to see my cover girl debut at 66. I have decided not to be embarrassed sharing it!

The shape I was in, which makes such photographs possible, did not just happen. After, say, 60, nothing is free: not your blood pressure, your healthy heart, your weight, or your muscle tone. Your grown children don’t have to visit you either.

Gravity will have its way, and health issues can interfere, but there is a routine for everyone. Some of my friends walk their dogs; affection for their dog relieves the drudgery. One friend is part of a group that meets at the same place and time every day to walk and talk for an hour. My daily yoga is tied to my spiritual life, leading to a sense of calm and ever-changing revelation.

My doctor says, “The question is not ‘do I have arthritis,’ but “does it hurt?’” When I overexert myself, suffer an injury, or when some body part succumbs to its arthritis, my physical therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and masseur have helped me recover, and I use them generously. For pain, I resort to the effective therapy of Feldenkrais videos.

Finding a routine that can be sustained indefinitely, or changed every week if you like, was a creative challenge, but we’re old enough to do what we like and not give a damn, right?