Don’t you just wish you could just lie about and eat whatever and just forget about that exercise stuff? Oh, just hit that snooze button. And then you can surf the web for a few hours and round out your day watching those chiseled Olympic athletes on the TV. Well you can’t do that! You have to move! And I have some inspiration for you in my “Fit for Life” post this week.
This is my mother-in-law, Shirley. She’ll be 88 years old in October. She moved to Tampa from Colorado in 2011. This was a huge step for her since she was leaving her beloved town of Longmont where she had numerous friends and a supportive church family. And she left all of that for the hot humid buggy state of Florida so she could be close to her family.
Once here, Shirley took up Wii bowling, painting acrylics, water aerobics, and yoga. In addition, she joined two choirs and does performances in both. Besides these new activities, she continues practicing the organ, sewing, playing Mexican train, scrabble and card games with her numerous new friends, and attends church services. And if she has a few hours free she goes on field trips to Hard Rock Casino and other fun places in Tampa.
And she hasn’t forgotten her old friends. She stays in contact with them through email and with her cell phone. She also follows my blog daily along with other web browsing and does a LOT of online shopping.
While all of her current activites are motivating, what is truly inspirational is where she was not so many years ago. Shirley’s husband John suffered from Parkinson’s disease and she was his fulltime caregiver. She became ill and worn down from the constant stress of his daily needs and we were seriously concerned about her life. After John passed away, she joined an exercise group and began taking better care of herself. She started dating and later married Lloyd. They traveled the world together until Lloyd passed away a few years ago. She continues having a close relationship with his two daughters. Shirley’s doctors now tell her that her “real” age is several years younger than her actual age.
A couple of things to learn here. The first is that it’s never too late to take up exercise–it can change your life. The second is that Shirley does all those things that the doctors say are so important in living a long life—eating healthily, maintaining her ideal weight, exercising, taking on challenges and continuing friendships.
So, get off the couch! Take a walk! Meet new people! Eat an apple! Call a friend! Welcome change!