Monday Canyon Ranch Zwift Ride Topic
“Through age, we grow and live to learn and create something incredible”
Matthew *My Fiancé and I just got back from spending a weekend near Durango Colorado where I went to college to celebrate my first-year Roommate and close friend's incredible and heartfelt wedding. It was up deep into the mountains and we took some time to take that opportunity and camp. The best part was that we got to see friends from college we have not seen in years. That made me think of how fast time flies, but also how we grow and age over time.
I think the thought of aging has a stigma of being scary. The common
“You will get wrinkly and old”
“It gets worse and worse each year you get older”
“You won’t be able to do much”
Common words always get brought up like Decline, and memory loss.
There are some common misconceptions about aging that are thought up….
Misconception 1 – Brain Power Disappears with Age
While many older adults will struggle with mental conditions, like dementia, that decrease their short-term or long-term memory, the truth is that verbal/math abilities and abstract reasoning can actually increase with age.
The key to strengthening these abilities is engaging the brain and exercising mental faculties to combat degenerative conditions. Physical exercise and social interaction are also important factors that can contribute to keeping the brain active and sharp.
Misconception 2 – Aging Robs You of Your Happiness
Though many people associate old age with depression, loneliness, and misery, getting older does not mean your loved one will lose their joy for life. In fact, recent happiness studies indicate that people are happiest at retirement age. Today, with the wealth of opportunities available for older adults, this can still ring true for adults who have been retired for many years. Getting older can mean having time to enjoy hobbies and interests that bring true happiness, rather than having all of one's time engaged in obligations.
Misconception 3 – Older Adults Are Lonely
In today’s world, there is not only a multitude of social activities available for older adults but also a variety of senior living options. Volunteer opportunities, club memberships, senior centers, and time with family and friends can provide human interactions and social connections that can support an older adult through the aging process and any challenges that come along with it. Living in an assisted living community can also provide a great sense of family and belonging to residents.
Misconception 4 – Older Adults Have Multiple Health Conditions
While our bodies do wear down with age, growing old does not necessarily mean losing all of your independence and visiting the hospital every week. While some older adults may develop health conditions that require close monitoring and intervention, many health conditions can be avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Taking care of your health as you age and staying active through proper exercise will help prevent falls, improve balance and circulation, and help increase overall independence.
Misconception 5 – Aging Limits the Ability to Learn New Skills
Learning new skills as an older adult is a different process than learning in your younger years, but that doesn’t mean older adults should avoid trying new things. In fact, learning and processing new information or taking up a new hobby can help keep the mind sharp and provide something interesting to enjoy throughout the day. You can, and should, learn new skills as you age.
Marianne one of our amazing regular riders here sent me a topic on individuals aging gracefully. How they had a different mindset to aging and I think it's key. It’s all about how you look at it and drown out the common myths and perceptions of age. In the big picture, as we age, we get wiser, we know ourselves better, and we become the best mentors to others around us. Its time that creates something special in our human experience. Yes, I am still a ripe young age, but what I realize going back to see friends from my college years was that age isn’t as bad as I had brought myself to think of. I also coach athletes of all ages and have found that the athletes that are older than me have thought me to look at the world from a different perspective and have really helped create this amazing community we have here. It goes both ways. They have tough me that age has no limit and the growth of time has given perspective to the thoughtful creative mind. I have learned to embrace the process of aging and turn it into positivity as Matthew and I both looked at our old selves this past weekend, we gained respect but gratitude for the time that has passed to allow us to grow together and individually.
people fear getting older because of these misconceptions, but the aging process should not be considered something to be afraid of, but rather, something to explore. If you stay active and engaged, your later years of life can be some of the best in your life!
Here are some takeaways to reset the perception of aging.
Getting older does not mean you will lose all mental acuity and independence.
Older adults find that they have more time to enjoy life and therefore are often the happiest they have ever been in their later years.
Active living can help ward off loneliness and multiple health conditions.
Older adults can and should learn new things or take up new hobbies to find purpose and meaning in life.
I would love to share ten of the best quotes from celebrities on the perspective of aging.
“A friend of mine recently turned 69 and when I called her to wish her a happy birthday, I began to moan about our respective ages with my familiar refrain of ‘How did this happen?’ and ‘Can you believe it?’ She stopped me and said, “I have a whole different attitude now.” She told me: “Aging is a privilege.” That’s now become my mantra.”
“I’m probably not a great person to ask about age because I never lie about my age, I love my age. Even when I was younger, I’d look in the face of Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda and Cicely Tyson, and all I’d see was beauty. But yes, the industry does put a lot of pressure on you. There’s a feeling like you’re no longer valuable when you get older. I don’t feel that our society has embraced what comes with aging. They think that you just get old, we don’t value wisdom and we don’t value experience. Our business is very much image-conscious, then you have the societal pressure on people, then you have a perfect storm of there being a lot of age discrimination. But this is where I actually think midlife crisis comes into play. It’s about is about liberating yourself from all of that.”
“I’m super-conscious that I’m closer to death. And it doesn’t really bother me that much, what bothers me is that my body is basically not mine! My knees are not mine, hips are not mine, my shoulder’s not mine. You’re looking at somebody who’s only me from here up…The fact that I’m still alive and working, wow! Who cares if I still don’t have my old joints and can’t ski or bike or run anymore. You know you can be really old at 60, and really young at 85.”
On her dwindling libido in her 80s, Steinem joked: “The brain cells that used to be obsessed are now free for all kinds of great things.”
She also expressed her joy at the true friendships borne out of her past love affairs: “Your old lovers get to be your really old lovers, and you can’t remember who broke up with who, or who got mad at who — just that the two of you remember things that no one else in the world does.”
“The way I see it, every year can be a brand new journey. Think about it: You get one chance to be 25, 38, 44, 61, and every age before and between. Why wouldn’t you want to experience all the wonder in each step on your path?”
“People who lie about their age are denying the truth and contributing to a sickness pervading our society—the sickness of wanting to be what you’re not…I know for sure that only by owning who and what you are can you step into the fullness of life.”
“It’s almost as if we have failed if we don’t remain 25 for the rest of our lives. Like we are failures. It is a personal failure. Like, our fault that at 40 years old that I don’t still look like I’m 25. ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I apologize I wasn’t able to defy nature.’…I feel that aging is a privilege. I think that it’s something that I feel very honored that I get to do.”
“I do think that when it comes to aging, we’re held to a different standard than men. Some guy said to me: ‘Don’t you think you’re too old to sing rock ’n’ roll?’ I said: ‘You’d better check with Mick Jagger.’”
“I feel like I’m young. I have a lot of friends in their 30s, and I don’t think about it. To me, we’re the same age, until I actually study it.”
“Best thing about being in your 90s is you’re spoiled rotten. Everybody spoils you like mad and they treat you with such respect because you’re old. Little do they know, you haven’t changed. You haven’t changed in [the brain]. You’re just 90 every place else.”
“Accentuate the positive, not the negative. It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say: ‘Hey, that was great!’ It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look.”
“I can’t remember ever being anxious about [aging]. Every age, I’ve been grateful.”
Dr. Angelou always took care to practice gratitude every morning, telling God: “Thank you for this day. Thank you for the light coming through that window. Thank you. Thank you that I’m breathing. Thank you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for the phone call that told me that I have the job. Thank you even for the phone call that told me I’m not wanted anymore. Thank you because I know you have something better for me lined up.”
Age is something of beauty.
With that I hope you all enjoyed this topic to start your week off.
Be Kind, Do Fearless