Scary, but good. Just like a birthday.
(No. 82) If only I could skate like Grandma, by Stephen P. Williams
Accepting aging is like swimming in deep water: You feel better for it in the end.
Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash
I used to have a wonderful neighbor named Lillian. She lived into her late 90s, still walking up the five flights of stairs to her bedroom in the narrow New York townhouse she’d lived in since the 1960s. Once or twice a year she’d have a cigarette while sitting on the stoop, but in general her lifestyle was as healthy as her walk up those stairs. She ate whole grains like bulgur wheat, was moderate in all things, and swam several times a week at the local Y. She knew swimming was a great way to keep health demons at bay, and that it was hard to injure muscles and joints while swimming.
I shared this last habit with her. I kept it up until the pandemic shut down the indoor pool where I used to swim. Now I’m edging back into it, which is a good thing for me. I love the free feeling of being in the water, with no phone, music or podcasts, just my thoughts and my heartbeat.
This article about swimming and thinking by Steve Mentz in Psyche magazine is wonderful and surprising. Since swimming is among the most transformative exercises an aging person can do, you’ll be lucky if this article has a magical effect that gets you in the pool.
Might need a bottle of Old Grandad
Retirement is the beginning of the end, say seven percent of older Americans. These are probably the people liquor companies will soon target. Let’s find other ways to lift their spirits.
Potential breakthrough in repairing shoulder and knees.
Grafting to repair torn tendons might become a whole lot easier, thanks to a scientist who figured out that robots might be able to help craft lab-grown tendons that work well in the human body.
The department of Aging Poorly
The Villages, in Florida, is a retirement community that’s home to seemingly many wild and crazy people. Witness this.
The vagus nerve is the biggest, longest cranial nerve in your body. Self-soothe it to reduce anxiety and improve well being.
I’m too scared to try it
I used to love rollerskating. Yet the last time I did it, about 30 years ago, my legs went out from under me and I landed on my ass in the right lane of the Manhattan’s West Side Highway. I admire older people who go for it, like this 77 year who picked up the sport when he was 60. He grew up in Myanmar and Borneo, and moved to the United Kingdom in 1960. He’s used to change, and facing the unexpected. He sees his skate as a passport that lets him make friends wherever he goes, even in other countries.
And then there’s this woman of a certain age, who is definitely doing her own thing:
Happy summer, everyone! Stephen
Please become a paid subscriber to help support my work and build the community.