80 … and still going strong

80 … and still going strong

Photo of Madam Kong Sin Sim by Jason HoI read a refreshing piece of news today, ‘80 … and still going strong,’ about an 80 years old lady (picture). You may ask, “What can be so refreshing about the news of an old lady?” You may not agree with me, but this news not only provides a positive and inspiring read, it is also much more uplifting than all the political and economic news in the printed paper.

When a lot of men and women around her age have already resigned to fate and to some of the myths of aging, Madam Kong Sin Sim continues with her almost daily workout routine of stretches, light weight training and swimming at the gym. According to her 47 years old son, she is a bundle of energy and constantly encouraging them to exercise!

Not only that, “….her doctor has declared her to be healthy and free from conditions such as high-blood pressure and diabetes…” She credited all that to more than 20 years of regular exercise and eating right.

One common myth of aging is the increase of dependency on others as we become physically incapacitated. This is certainly not true. According to the University of Pittsburgh, Institute of Aging, “Helplessness and dependency are not characteristic of old age. About 87 percent of adults over 65 are able to cope more than adequately with the demands of everyday living.

Ninety is the new 70, according to a report in usnews.com. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), a 50 years ongoing study involving 3,000 seniors, found a reduction in heart attacks among older men who took up a high-intensity activity like swimming or running. Not only that, older exercisers also experience less shortness of breath and fatigue.

From the above reports, doesn’t it make sense for us to start exercising today? However, if you are a senior and wants to start an exercise routine, it is very important to first consult your doctor to see if you are fit for exercising, or if any precautions need to be taken.

I believe that most of us will have this question in our mind: What would be the age when one would be considered too old to take on new challenges or to learn new tricks? Yes, this is a trick question and the answer is pretty straight forward; one is never too old to take on new challenges or to learn new tricks.

With this new perspective in mind, let me share with you the story of Cliff Young, which I believe our Australian friends would be very familiar with. He was the potato farmer who inspired the whole nation. At the age of 61, he participated in the first Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon (875 kilometers, 544 miles) in 1983, competed against world-class athletes and won the race in record breaking time; trimming almost two days off the record for any previous run between Sydney and Melbourne. Cliff Young continued to run more than 20,000 kilometres during his competitive career. Cliff was like anyone of us; a humble, average man, who undertook an extraordinary feat and became a national sensation.

Whoever is still saying he/she is too old to do something or to learn new trick, he/she may want to adopt this new perspective: we are never too old to take on new challenges or to learn new tricks. I will have to remind myself constantly too.

Photo by Jason Ho from todayonline.com
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19 thoughts on “80 … and still going strong

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Pam, I like the idea of your dad planning the birthday party for himself; that way, there would be no reason he will not enjoy it.

      @ PinkLady, yes, she is truly taking charge and living life fully.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Meleah, yes, I have read about your grandfather Poppa Sye a few times in your blog and it’s really cool that he will be celebrating his 90 birthday in May. My grandmother is going to be 96 this year.

      @ Jeana, always start small with something feasible and we can build on it as it goes on. I’m very sure you will sure the motivation within.

  1. Tracy

    Amazing… this is inspirational! I’ll be turning 38 before year’s end, and while pushing 40 is daunting I must admit…LOL!… That we can live well into older age very healthy does inspire! Happy Days, BK :o)

  2. Brooke

    Good for her! I hope to remain active in my older age 🙂 My grandfather was always extremely active, starting each day with a run on his treadmill.
    .-= Brooke´s last blog ..April 20, 2010 =-.

  3. Tina t

    I love these inspiring stories. I went to watch my husband compete in a triathlon and there was a large group of participants that were over 70 (and they beat quite a few of the younger people.) It was inspiring to see them, and it made me realize that I should have been out there competing rather than watching from the sidelines.
    .-= Tina t´s last blog ..Saying I Love You for the First Time =-.

  4. Bethan

    Great article! My uncle in law is in his mid sixties and recently became the UK’s champion power lifter for his age category. This year he’s going for the world title! His whole philosophy is around being limitless and believing he can still achieve his dreams despite getting older.
    .-= Bethan´s last blog ..Sometimes you just want to say thankyou … =-.

  5. Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point

    Hi BK, I love this! We are living longer which means we have many more days than ever to live happy adn enriching lives. And yes, we can never be too old for anything. There’s a blog called agemyths.com that posts stuff like this. Have you seen it?

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Tracy, indeed, we can live well into old age very healthy.

      @ Brooke, I’m very sure you’ll remain active in your older age. Just like you said, your grandfather was extremely active always and thus this may probably run in the family?

      @ Tina, I love stories like these too; always taught us good lessons. I am not surprised by what you had observed, there is also a similar trend here with some very active old people in running events. Probably you should. However, it really depends on individual. I do not have the urge to participate in events like triathlon or marathon but just more on keeping fit and healthy.

      @ Bethan, great to be hearing about the feats of your uncle-in-law. He is definitely an inspiration to younger people like myself as well as to men and women around his age. Hopefully your uncle in law could motivate them to get up and move their arms and legs.

      @ Belinda, you are right, we are not only living longer but hopefully also healthier. I have not seen the blog before. Thank you for sharing it. I’ll head over for a read.

      @ Jude, indeed. They are great role models for us.

  6. One of The Guys

    This was very inspirational BK!

    My goal is to try and keep doing a lot of things I’m doing currently even as I get older. The key is getting in shape now, so it’s more about maintaining rather than fixing.

    Thanks for sharing.
    .-= One of The Guys´s last blog ..The Dance of Compromise =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ One of the Guys, I agree with you exactly; the key is getting in shape now and more about maintaining rather than fixing. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

  7. Hilary

    Hi BK .. isn’t that great. It is keeping full of the joys of spring as we get older .. keeping active, keeping our brain healthy as we embrace all things new (well nearly!), and generally being interested in life.

    We must do our best for ourselves .. no-one else will .. and keep our spirit happy and full of love .. hope I’ve got many years ahead!! All the best Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Pevensey Castle, Normans Bay, smuggling and family remembrances … Part 1 =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Hilary, well said; “keeping full joys of spring as we get older” We are indeed the only one who can do what is best for ourselves. And keeping our spirit happy and full of love are very important.