Like the Energizer bunny.......we keep going and going and going. We've been blessed with a love of mountains and we love being in them. Many of us are truly addicted and need a "fix" and that special magic that keeps us renewed. Younger people often make comments that they hope they can be doing what we are doing when they get to "our age" and yet, none of us feel that we are really older than 25 or 30 in our hearts and so we stay young by our mountain involvement.
Recognizing that the majority of climbers and hikers are below the "magic" 60 barrier, I thought an album for those who are 60 and older and still hitting the hills would be a nice addition to SP. Let's see who we are: So, if you are 60, 70, 80 or older, please add your picture to this album and provide a caption with what you are currently up to. This will be a work in progress so be sure to check back from time to time to see who else has joined our ranks. Sorry, no 60 wantabees need apply, wait until you have earned "admission" to the club by depositing the appropriate number of years to the age bank. OK lets see your pics in this rogues gallery of senior mountain lovers.
PLEASE ADD YOUR PICTURES // (work in progress)Here's the GOLDEN list I have compiled from the People listing (first 2000 profiles looked at):
Bernard l. Negrin
Fredd C Dobbs
These are some who listed their age on their profiles. As mentioned above, these were gleaned from the first 2000+ names I looked at and I'm sure I missed a few, but still that's only about 50 so far, a small percentage but like myself, folks who have their priorities straight. There were a goodly number at ages 59 & 58 so in a years time, they'll need to add themselves. Stay healthy by keeping active and being in the outdoors, I salute you. There are more but this should give you an idea of many of the solid members of SP who are 60 or older.
Note: There are several others who are in their 60's and 70's that are still very active and while they are not SP members, their names are found in registers all over the west. They are: John Vitz, Richard Carey,
Barbara Lilley, Gordon MacLeod, to name a few.
In memoriumOne of the truly amazing climbers that I've ever heard of has recently passed away due to natural causes. Bob Martin climbed every 14K, every 13K, every 12K
etc peak in Colorado at a time in his life when many are ready to take up golfing. Read about this amazing senior in this article:
Many SP members had an opportunity to hike and climb with Bob and his wife Dotty so if you are one of those folks, I know you'll feel the loss.
Some thoughts on agingAs I reached 50, my office staff threw a party for me and celebrated my fashionable status. The office was dressed in black crape paper, a black birthday cake adorned the front counter and all sorts of "presents" awaited my opening them. Let's see, what were some of the so called "presents".
Ah yes, a whoopee cushion, a guide to hearing aids, a large supply of Beano,
a cane, a book on sex after fifty which of course was filled with blank pages when you opened it up, and most importantly, some golf balls for the
exciting sport of golfing (which I've always been lousy at). There were more "presents" but those are the ones that I can remember. Oh yes, let's not talk about memory (or lack thereof) as that can be a truly exciting topic in its own right.
My staff had a book for my patients to sign in and offer me their special wishes for my wonderful 50th. Of course, the well intentioned remarks were mainly insulting so I used that keep sake book as fuel at a campsite a year or two later. It made a wonderful amount of heat which was a good use for it.
So what does all of this have to do with the topic, the "Senior" Hiker/Climber that might have enticed you to read this article in the first place? I will answer in due time so please feel free (or not) to read on.
The truth for me is that I really hate getting older and of course I know what the alternative is to not getting older but my acceptance of ageing has been to fight it every step of the way. My wife doesn't think I'm getting older as she feels that I act and think like a 20 year old. I like that but her intent isn't complimentary. The words "grow up" seem to be used more often than I'd like to think. She never says "Act your age" however because I think the result of compliance on my part would probably scare her.
Aging is a natural part of life and yet it can be slowed down. How do you slow it down you might wonder? Well, this is finally where I can get to some
good stuff rather than the usual negatives that can often accompany the aging process. First of all, I will (in agreement with my wife's thinking) admit that I think like a 25 year old (that happens to be stuck inside a 65+ year old body). No, that doesn't necessarily mean that I still hide Playboy's under my bed or watch Conan on late night TV. It really means that I think like I'm 25 years old. That is the first key to slowing down the aging process folks, you have to think young. The minute you say, "geez, I'm an old geezer" you are doomed. Don't go there, ever. Stay away from people your age who do act their age and spend much of their time talking about golfing, being regular, medicare, or what motor home they are currently using. Also, don't let them suck you into conversations about what rest home or burial plot they have made arrangements for. Do not use the word "retired" in referring to yourself except to try and gain sympathy as that has some nasty implications of its own (I'll explain later)
Another important thing to stay away from aging is to never look at a picture of yourself. The picture never looks like you, it generally has
the image of some old person stuck there and you know that isn't you. You
have no wrinkles, no gray hair, no loss of hair (in my case) and no need
to be wearing big thick bi-focals. No, pictures and videos are to be avoided
unless you are good at photoshopping the pics of yourself with the grandkids. Of course, the drivers license picture doesn't count because no one looks good in their drivers license picture. Did I mention mirrors in stores? Well, avoid them because they always make you look fatter than you are. Kind of like those "mirrors" they used to have at the carnival shows.
There are some great things about aging and here is number one:
The day you turn 62, be standing at the door of the nearest ranger station so you can pick up your "golden age passport". What is great thing number two? Oh yes, the movie discount but then it drops off from there for those of us in our "golden years". Oh yeah, the word "golden". I never use that word either since the only gold you see when you reach the so called "golden years" is your own personal "gold" disappearing into the pockets of the medical establishment, but I digress. This article must go somewhere, right? Read on, it does.
My older brother is still working full time at the age of 73. When I reached the point where I was finally able to walk away from a lifetime of practicing dentistry, he urged me not to retire. Of course, I had been looking forward to having "total" free time and no longer needing to go to the office as I had been doing so for a zillion years. He cautioned me with the statement of don't retire as "retirement is death". Then he went on to explain what he meant. Most men who retire don't really last all that long after they retire because they can't handle the change in lifestyle and the feeling of no longer being useful or needed. For many men, retirement means walking away from something they actually loved to do or walking away from being important in one way or another. They end up missing it and some can't really cope with the loss of this portion of their life. Often, the man doesn't last more than a few years after retirement. Most women are better mentally and more mature than men anyway and can cope a bit better. Most women have had to spend time at home with the kids and have a schedule and routine that is better suited for "surviving" and is perhaps one of the reasons why the majority of people over the age of 80 are women.
What about those who say, "I can't wait to retire as then I can travel (or whatever, just plug in the word of the activity that is highly anticipated)
In many cases, the dream of traveling or golfing non stop really has a down side.
I could tell a hilarious story about a couple who both retired at the same time and bought a motor home to travel fulltime in. Well, to keep the story short, after just one year of traveling together, they couldn't stand each other. He couldn't stand her nitpicking (not a problem before since he was rarely home) and she couldn't stand the fact that he was truly a boring man (not noticed before since he was rarely home). She also couldn't stand the fact that he wouldn't stop at any historical road signs but seemed hellbent on getting from campground A to campground B in record time. He couldn't stand the fact that she never shut up but then I promised not to tell a hilarious story (and I'm not). To both of them, retirement was a disaster because it didn't turn out the way they expected.
I won't even start with the "I can golf forever" stories because once a person can do what they want to do all the time, it is no longer the great escape it was when they were working. The same goes with most other pursuits except for one area: Hiking and climbing. But then that is what works for me so I guess that aspect should be recognized at the outset.
My passion and salvation to surviving the "golden years" is tied to the mountains. I can never get enough and each trip to the mountains is a mini adventure of some sort or another. I am a "list" person. I am compelled to
go after things on a list but the key thing here is my lists are comprised of mountains I want to hike or climb. By being oriented to chasing peaks, I am forced to keep in shape since aging impacts your body in ways you wouldn't even dream of. First, you can't slack off or you lose ground in the conditioning arena. It is vitally important to have a regimen for fitness and to eat healthy foods. The elimination of sugar, alcohol, french fries and junk food are big for helping to stay healthy. The right supplements can make a difference but the purpose of this article isn't to offer advice on food or
what vitamins and supplements to take. That can end up being too controversial since everyone has a different take on those subjects. However, having said that, one huge key is learning to eat properly and healthy. Sugar is truly enemy number one and keeping your weight under control is imperative.
When I eliminated sugar from my diet and fast foods, I lost 20 pounds in less than 8 months.
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