My birthday is always a time of reflection. Once again we had my annual birthday blizzard–February 1. This year I officially became a senior citizen, 62. Do I mind that milestone? Not really. I agree with Betty Friedan “Aging is not lost youth but a new state of opportunity and strength.”
Looking back over the years, I am in better shape now than I was 20+ years ago and much stronger. At forty, like a lot of people, I thought that disease and disability were just a natural part of aging. I was overweight, out-of-shape and had difficulty climbing stairs. I thought it was all downhill—especially when menopause hit.
I thought joining a gym might help. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I learned the importance of building strength—and it not only changed my body, it changed my life.
At forty, when I joined the gym, I could do twelve girl’s pushups. At sixty, I did sixty-five.
At forty, I could barely walk because of the arthritis in my knees. At sixty, I ran a half marathon.
At fifty, I become a personal trainer after years of being an administrative assistant.
At forty, I was working for retirement. Now, at sixty-two, retirement is the farthest thing from my mind. I have started writing and speaking to spread the message of strength. I am no longer working for retirement—I’m working for the next opportunity and adventure.
It’s never too late to begin. No matter if your forty, sixty or eighty, building strength is the best way to take charge and change the way you age and improve the quality of your life.