Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dance I Shall

Recently I read an interview with Iceland's oldest resident, 106-year-old Georg Olafsson. When asked what his secret to longevity was he replied "I haven't the faintest clue," but suspected it could be a mixture of healthy diet, hard labor and positive thinking.

That sound about right to me, growing up on that island, also called "The Land of Fire and Ice", our diet was pretty much fresh fish, homegrown potatoes, rutabaga and carrots and, on special occasion, smoked mutton. At age 91, I have come to believe a positive outlook is one of the keys to a long and happy life. I'm not so sure about the hard labor - although some may argue that raising ten children could qualify as "hard labor" - but I am absolutely for an active lifestyle. I like to think that after working all day (or a lifetime), it's time to dance.

Life can be a dance. I try to add a little dance to any activity. I don't sit and wait for the coffee to brew or warm up, I take those few minutes for a "microwave dance." Hopping from one foot to the other and swinging my arms to whatever happy tune comes to mind. It gets the blood flowing, keeps my mind sharp and a smile on my face. It might be a brisk march, a flowing waltz vacuuming the floor, or a little Cha-Cha between the washing machine and dryer during laundry. The more movements I do the better I feel. I should have started this years ago, but it's never to late!

Awhile back I was dog-sitting and noticed that whenever the pups got up, the first thing they did was to stretch. I decided this instinct might be a good thing, so I added stretching to my daily routine: Stretching side to side - stretch the arms out front - reach up to the sky (or the highest-up kitchen cabinet).Someone told me "planks" were good for the core muscles and helped with posture, so I added that to my routine, ending with the "canine" stretches. If a wall space is not available I use the refrigerator-door for my back as I do the "squat-position." And always start the day with a few sit-ups before bouncing out of bed!

This has kept me limber enough to go paragliding - cave exploring - river rafting - rock-wall climbing, and keep me looking for more adventures! People ask me what MY secret is...I say - "Whatever there is to do, do that thing!"

I don't think of myself as old - I am occasionally caught unaware when the realization of my chronological age hits me. I am honestly far to busy enjoying life to be limited by "acting my age."
At my age, at any age it's time to dance.
And dance I shall.