Vol. 68 September 2009- Let Me Show You How To Live Life With Grace into Your 90’s
Dr. Marion Down at the age of 94 has the simple secrets to living life to the fullest regardless of the challenges that a person of her age may need to overcome.
At the age of 89 she participated in a mini-triathalon (running, swimming and biking).
Won Senior Olympics gold medals in tennis.
Achieved mandated haring tests for more than 90% of US newborns when she was
Audiologist in her 59’s.
Dr. Down says it is fun to be old because you can do almost anything you want to do. Nobody cares! But one thing I she knows is that to continue she must take care of herself physically and mentally. The day she turned 51, she stood at the top of a hill wearing ski gear that her kids had left in the closet, scared to barrel down that first slope. She turned to the instructor and told him that she couldn’t do it because it was too steep. She asked him what to do and he replied to “shut up and ski! You know how!” Somehow she did it. From that experience she learned that whenever life gets strange and she doesn’t know how to do something, she tells herself “Shut up and live!”.
Since most of us are living longer than our parents did and no guidelines to see them through these critical years, she has become the role model of women in their 80’s. She laughs to think about the youngsters in their 50’s and 60’s dared to write books about how to live to a ripe old age. She figured, why not me? I know how and so she did.
Dr. Down priorities are her three children, 11 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren giving her 38 great reasons to hang around, but only if she takes care of herself. One needs to take responsibility for one’s one life. Stop blaming your parents and grandparents. According to a study done by Harvard our genes account for only 25% to 35% of our longevity and 30% of our physiological changes. She noted that her parents died at 72 not her.
Daily exercise is required with stretching for 15-20 minutes with back stretches keeping her from experiencing any serious back problems for decades. Neck and shoulder exercises keep her head high, shoulders back and daily leg exercises prevent the “old folks shuffle” caused be weak leg muscles. Walking is much easier and more graceful.
An hour of strengthening exercises with weights, stretchy bands, on a large balance ball and a soccer ball three times a week with one to two hours of aerobics , mostly running, but also loves riding her 3 wheel bicycle all done with a trainer who works her hard and keeps her safe.
Exercise is play too including tennis which she played since she was retired from full-time work at the age of 68. She prefers gold because it involves more activity playing three times a wee in a league with changing partners.
As a nonagenarian she eats foods high in protein, low in carbohydrates including lots of fruit and as many veggies as she can swallow. The result is to keep her lean, strong and healthy. She admires a milk chocolate “turtle” she places on the counter in the morning and enjoys it in the evening.
Osteoarthritis is the most common condition of older people. Deal with it, forget it and get on with your life. Bursitis was helped with acupuncture, at least on one side. Sleeping on her side with a hard pillow between her knees kept the bursitis away in her hip. This position keeps the back trouble away. Lying on the left side keep the aid reflux in check. With a history of smoking and having developed chronic pulmonary disease (COPD) being an exercise fiend has kept the need for an oxygen machine away. Use the hearing aids so you don’t have to miss out on much if there is a need to use them. Find the right doctor and perservere for what one doctor thought was a spider bite, she found out later was squamous cell carcinoma – a step away form melanoma. Keep the Alzeimer’saway by playing bridge, doing crosswords in pen – at least it is fun.
The best of all was left for last. Dr. Downs decided at the age of 90 to try skydiving. Her family tried to stop her and guess what? She says “Ha!” Strapped to her instructor she did a 3,000 foot free fall at 120 miles per hour. The landing was nice as they glided in and she sat on a sand pile.or her 95th she’s doing it again.
Now, if you haven’t decided to live an interesting, fun and adventurous life you need to ask yourself what is holding you back? You can do pretty much anything that you decide to do as Dr. Downs has made perfectly clear. If there is something that is holding you up, creating the idea that you feel stuck, I suggest you call your local hypnotist, because there is no reason to not keep going well into your 90’s so long as you are taking good care of yourself and doing the things that you enjoy. If for some reason you aren’t making time to do the things you enjoy, once again you better find out why for we are only around for so long and the makings of a great life are by spending whatever time you have here on planet earth endeavoring to do fun and fulfilling activities, using up your life as the late great Ormand McGill managed to do in his 91 years of traveling the world both mesmerizing from the magic and hypnotic stage shows to teaching the weak before he passed overseas in Great Britain after haven written 36 books. I figure he is a wonderful role model to follow to create a marvelously fun and productive life. What do you say? Are you worth it? If you don’t think so call your local hypnotist so you too get back the joy and purpose to make your life worth living as long as you are healthy.
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