Back in the nineties, hubby and I went to Hong Kong. While there, I saw an elderly man standing beside a light pole and he reached down to his ankle with one hand and stretched his leg up, all the way up, and over his head. Basically, he was doing the splits while standing on one foot. I was awed and without even meaning to I blurted out the question, “How can you do that?”
Sounding very wise he said, “The secret is to never stop doing something.”
Now that I’m on the downward slide of fifty, I think about that piece of advice that I didn’t follow. I walk almost every day for about 40 minutes, so I’m not one who doesn’t exercise. But I admit there are some things I wish I hadn’t stopped doing.
On occasion, I’ll turn on some music and dance around like I was fifteen at a sock hop. And yes, the next day my muscles are screaming at me that I don’t move things around enough. Then not so long ago, I bought my granddaughter a hula hoop. I slipped it over my head to show off my moves, and was dearly disappointed when I couldn’t even get the thing spinning. So, I think I’m going to try dancing and hula hooping more often.
But it’s not just the physical stuff I think we neglect as the years tick by. I recall the saying: We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. I do believe writing helps keep my mind fresh and my outlook young. But not everyone writes. I think reading can offer some of the same benefits. I know a lot of people who are enjoying going back to their childhood hobby of coloring. Or pulling out the old board games.
There’s a country western song with a line I heard that I really like, “When was the last time, you did something for the first time?”
What do you do to keep your body and mind young? Have you done something for the first time lately? Any hula hoop advice?