Keep moving. That is the be-all-end-all mantra of those who wish to maintain. Maintain anything really. I’ve come to this understanding in my quest to mature through my relationship with my friends who are 70+ years old. Most, at this writing, are about to turn 80 or have surpassed that mark in time.
They introduced me to our ski house. A place where we can sleep and socialize in between skiing days, but also a place where we congregate to hike, bike, and kayak a river. We celebrate New Year’s there every year. And each year we predict what will happen in years to come.
I can’t claim to be part of the original group. I am a serious generation+ younger. I can’t claim to have the knowledge they have. I am not nearly as smart, wise, or otherwise endowed with the means to guess at what will happen in the years to come.
But they seem to have the ability to see the future. And, more importantly, live the future.
When we read the New Year’s predictions of the years to come they are uncannily accurate. Stock market trends. Political victories and snafus. Economic foresight. It’s all there. And so are they. They, on the whole (and most notably, the ‘whole’) do not die. Nor do they fall out of relevance.
How do a group of cusping 80 year olds stay so relevant? Active? In tune with the current world???
Back to the title. Frozen Water.
Last year, On New Year’s Eve Day, I was coerced, by my less informed friends, to walk with this group in below 0 temps. My friends said, “Look at their age! How far can they walk? We have to go!”. I said, “You don’t know them. It’s f….ing freezing out there! This is not a ‘walk’.” But, I was coerced. And we walked. My friends, halfway through….at the 3 mile mark….said “enough”. They ran back to the house at the short cut. I kept going as I was in a deep conversation with one of the group that had beat pancreatic cancer and could not fathom walking away from what she could do. The pace was tough, but it kept me relatively warm. And, really, they all were decades older…….so how could I complain?
Well, as we rounded into the last half mile (of 5+ miles in sub-zero temps) I realized my water, that was moving in my hand, and I was drinking along the way, had frozen solid. And there we were. Discussing the terms of physics that allowed a moving bottle of water to freeze. These folks have the pedigree to discuss this in far more advanced terms than I could understand!
These people were not, and are not, allowing their moving bodies to freeze. It might happen. But it will be against their will.
It is currently the following year and I skied with a number of the plus 80 group this week………they are planning to walk 19+ miles a day across England this summer. They kept a hiking pace of 16+ miles per day in Patagonia with 20 yr olds last year. Some of the group accomplished other feats that would make this post too long…..how amazing!
Moral of the story…………keep moving. Every day in every way. We might not have the choice if the elements are against us. But if we go down fighting, we will keep going in mind and body a whole lot longer than if we stay still. 32 degrees Fahrenheit will do us in if we stay still. If we keep moving, it has to get a whole lot colder for it to freeze.