Kalily, I might note here that I fully realize that I’m an outlier. I have no clue whether I’m even going to make it to 78, much less what kind of shape I’m going to be in. However when I look at a few of my favorite examples, women older than I am who are dedicated professional bodybuilders ( 81 and 72, to be specific) I am regularly reminded of what discipline and focus can do for us even as we age. There are some intractables, although a lot of folks beat their genetics through sheer will and work. It’s not so much the notion of being “out there proving anything,” for me it’s a preferred lifestyle out of joy and passion. If we waste time trying to prove ourselves, then our lives are wholly dictated by what others think. That’s a right sad existence, because largely, nobody cares, frankly, as they are so absorbed in their own lives. That’s not a negative, we’re just focused on ourselves. What is important is to live as well as we can within the parameters you choose to set. I love constantly erasing my own impossible but that’s how I’m wired. I couldn’t live any other way. However I would hesitate to dictate to anyone else, or even suggest, what their lives are going to be in 13 years. We cannot know. What is true for you isn’t true for me, and while I respect your opinion, I wouldn’t make any assumptions about how someone else is going to age or evolve based on my own experience. I’m not privy to those things. I find that I am speeding up as I age rather than the other way around. What I won’t do is try to be what I am not: young. I am young in spirit, young at heart, and constantly willing to push boundaries. Those are the things that drive me. I love the aging process. And I fully expect to be fully engaged until the day I bite it. What that looks like is unknowable. However, and I can only speak for myself, I would rather offer positive predictions for others rather than predict their decline. None of us knows what’s ahead, for ourselves, and most definitely not for others. I prefer to look forward to more, not less. And I would wish the same for you.

As to your comment about “most folks,” I would also not make such a statement, as I live in a state where a great many folks my age and older are enormously active. Your observation is perfectly valid for “most folks” in your experience, but most folks in my experience are every different. We can only speak about what we know, and I am lucky to be surrounded by a plethora of folks my age and a lot older who are very engaged. This is not about either right or wrong. Your observations are accurate for you, mine are accurate for me and my experiences. This is only to offer up a different perspective, not to argue. I believe in what’s possible. That attitude has taken me a very long way. I fully expect it to take me a great deal further.

I appreciate your viewpoint and your comments. We all see and experience differently, and that’s what makes conversations worthwhile.

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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