Sunday, May 22, 2011

How To Be 70 Years Young

What we gain from training and racing might seem temporary: a finish line photo, a smile, the great feeling of a hard workout, a medal, maybe a PR. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are actually remaking ourselves from the insides out. Maybe you can't tell the difference between two people standing side by side. Maybe it's not obvious in blue jeans and sneakers which one of them is the athlete and which is not. But if you looked inside of them, at how strong and sturdy their heart is, how robust their muscles, how supple their joints and ligaments, you would see that one of these bodies is going to last a whole lot longer and do a whole lot more than the other one. And if you could fast forward those bodies a few decades, the differences would be staggering, inside and out.

My mom turned 70 this week. Seventy! I can hardly believe it. A lot of seventy year olds might be content with a  visit from their daughter and grandkids. Maybe they'd hoist themselves off the couch for a peck on the cheek, accept a card or a present. What did my mom want for her birthday? To go kayaking. Yeah, isn't that the kind of 70th birthday you'd like to have some day?? So we loaded up the boats and headed off to the Long Tom River on her special day, and had a great time on this absolutely beautiful little piece of water. 

That night, my sis rolled into town on the Amtrak from Seattle, and she and my mom headed out to the coast to camp for a few days. I joined them on Friday night, and Saturday morning saw us all standing on the shore of one of my favorite little bodies of water, Cleawox Lake. My sister and I pulled on our wetsuits and swam (yes, insanity does run in the family!) and my mom kept us company in her kayak. We followed that with a hike around the lake. I love that my whole family is so active, so vital and alive. I love that I can share this with them, that my parents gave us this love of the outdoors and of challenging ourselves.  

More than anything, I love my mom. Happy Birthday Marsha! 70 Years Young.


tinaparker87 said...

Oh how fun! Happy Birthday Mom!

Nancy Mize said...

Happy birthday to Marsha! I am similarly blessed: My mom is 90 years old, and loves to kayak & swim with her great grandkids at my sister's camp on a lake in Maine--and otherwise can be found hiking in Acadia National Park all summer. Yes, she is a step or two slower than in years past, but what an example she (and our late dad) have been to all of us!