Getting younger every day

24 07 2010

“If you start adventure, and you are absolutely certain you will succeed; why bother starting?” This question was asked by Sir Edmund Hillary in Washington DC about ten years ago. Somehow, as life goes on this question seems to take on more mother was visiting two weeks ago, and we took a trip from Phoenix to Tucson to have lunch with a woman who had been a neighbor when I was growing up in Illinois. I won’t disclose either of their ages, but I am 59 and our former neighbor’s oldest daughter… for whom I used to babysit…is now 54. At lunch we started talking about aging.

This is a topic, but I and many of my friends also discuss. And everyone seems to be in agreement on one point: we are getting younger every day. Today’s seniors are very different than the seniors when my mother and her friend were my age. Even my mother has gotten younger. When my daughter was born in 1976, she was the first granddaughter, and the first child of the next generation. My mother, who will probably deny this, started letting her hair go gray, because grandmothers have gray hair. Both of my grandmothers have gray hair as far back as I can remember them.

Our former neighbor has her hair the same color that I remember she had when I was babysitting, and it looks great. My mother has beautiful silver hair, and so does nothing to its color. Mine is going to be the same silver. No bluing, please.

This article, however is not about graying hair. It’s about the fact that today’s seniors are a lot more active than last generation’s seniors. My mom goes to the gym three days a week and works out. I ride my bike 12 to 30 miles every other day, and on the alternate days. I am lifting heavier weights more times than I did when I was in my 40s. I have a friend, 55, who climb a 1500 foot mountain every morning. The neighbor down the street, 52 years old, rides his road bike 65 miles every morning. Three acquaintances from a meet up group over 60 years old, hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back in one day.

Even in terms of clothing, style, hair color, and general lifestyle, today’s seniors aren’t.