ThoughtBox

Seventy-one-derful!

Seventy-one-derful! That’s how a friend wished me a happy birthday and I LOVE it! 

My birthday celebration kept going through this weekend on a day trip to the Grounds For Sculpture with my 2 daughters’ families. We scrambled among sculptures, climbed, ran, and played freeze tag through the park for hours on a gorgeous Sunday.

Polli playing around sculpture with Layla and Lucy
Playing tag!
Polli Layla and Lucy on top of sculpture
So high!

Jump and catch!

 

I’m a grandma of 15 now, the beautiful products of 4 sons and 2 daughters and their spouses. 

2 weeks ago we visited families in Virginia. Sleeping at one house, then the other, at the local pool, a birthday party, on the playground, zooming from one activity to the next in a whirlwind of fun and love. 

I’m determined to make the most of these days, months, and years to hang out with the amazing adults and their children, and to enjoy being active whenever the moment arises. “I can’t” will not be in my vocabulary.

 

Polli jumping into the pool
Jump!

 

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My son and my 13th grandchild.

 

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Walk to the playground.

 

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Spinning in the park.

Aging is a superpower.

Being older feels liberating. No hesitation, no second guessing, more spontaneous and open. 

A powerlifting competition? Yikes, but I did it, and won. It might be the last…or maybe not. Meeting super strong, kind, and encouraging people, organizers and competitors was a bonus.

Teaching kids how to row indoors involves carrying 10 rowing machines up and down stairs, setting them up and breaking them down, and staying ON every second to engage the kids and keep up with short attention spans. On a field trip on Saturday to try water rowing  they were champs. Indoor rowing was completely new to the kids when we started in February, and water rowing might open opportunities for kids who want to look for scholarships. 

I have a rule in my city to walk and ride bikes, no driving. As an advocate for people-oriented streets and public spaces in my city, there’s strong community support, and sometimes frustrating setbacks. My sign off on emails is “Onward.”

Aging allows, even encourages us to be more open.

We can be bolder, and find fulfillment in the moment in ways we might have overlooked or postponed in younger years. 

I’ve chosen not to do certain things, at least for now. I’m pretty sure a scuba tank would malfunction. Heights make me hyperventilate. God forbid the glass walkway over the Grand Canyon. No, no, no.

I DO want to get better at public speaking, and some people have suggested a podcast, so that’s a maybe.

Strength training is key to accomplishing everything I want to do, mentally and physically.

Training strength after the age of 35 – and even more important after age 50-60-70 is critical to maintain remaining muscle for us to perform for the long game, to do everything we want to do. 

Studies have found that a stronger body leads to a stronger, healthier, younger brain.

Adults who lifted heavy weights (80 percent of their max) twice per week for six months improved cognitive function more than those who spent the same amount of time doing brain training like crossword puzzles.

By increasing brain size with resistance exercise you improve memory, learning, focus, and performance. 

When you lift weights, you don’t just pump up your muscles; you also pump up your brain’s volume.

The muscles in my body are visible, I can measure my strength and cardio fitness in the weight I can lift, and gauge the power I generate and distance on the rowing machine or bike, but I have no real idea how well my brain is doing. 

So far so good. 

My brain seems to be functioning okay, so I’ll keep pushing the perceived limitations of age, and work hard to stay strong and fit for myself and for my family. 

It’s so worth every rep, set, meter, and mile. 

Onward!

x

Polli

 

 

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