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Olwen Anderson's Blog

What about in a few decades?

Saturday, August 12, 2017
Swiping through Facebook the other day, I enjoyed the video clip about a nun regularly competing in triathlons. That’s a little outside what we would expect our religious to be doing, but that wasn’t the most unusual aspect: she was 86, and had taken up running in her early 50s as a spiritual exercise. It stuck. Sister Madonna Buder did miss competing in one triathlon in 2014 due to a broken hip, but according to the internet, is back on the track.

Then I came across another video clip, this time of a grandfather, Jean Titus, who had decided in his mid-40s that, really, he probably wasn’t even half way through his life, so it was time to get the mindset that would help him stay fit – and healthy – so much so that age would become just a number. He didn’t want to die at 25 to be buried at 70, realising that health & wellness were something money couldn’t buy. Judging by the film footage, he’s doing OK.
Now perhaps I was spending too much time on the internet. But these kinds of video clips and social media shares serve a purpose: they can shake us out of our habitual belief that our health and fitness will only be as good as the people around us. Which, if you’re living amongst people who have given up, might not be so good.

Maintaining your health certainly does become more challenging as the decades pass, partly thanks to the decline in reproductive hormone production from the middle years onwards. But I suspect that another powerful de-motivator is when you see the people around you getting tubbier, purchasing mobility aids, and forgetting where they were headed to after they’ve walked out the front door. 

As social beings, we’re hard-wired to perceive the way most of the people around us look as being normal. For example, it might seem normal now to be overweight since more than half of our population now wear plus-sized clothes. But if you were regularly mixing with people like Sister Buder and Mr Titus, your outlook on your own health and vitality might be a little different, perhaps?

So, if a little voice in your head is whispering that you might enjoy life more and feel better if you were healthier, maybe watching some of the inspiring folk on the internet, and getting amongst people intent on staying fit and healthy could help you shift aspirations into actions.

If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy 'The Controversies of Health' 


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