Friday, August 23, 2013

One Hundred and Three

Simply stated, my goal is to live to 103 years of age and still be healthy.  I chose that number several decades ago when my health was stressed and my mother's words rattled my soul, "You are burning the candle at both ends.  If you don't slow down, Letty, you'll never live to see fifty."  Mother liked her idioms.  

I knew she was right, but I didn't know how to slow down.  So I exercised as a way to sustain me through the difficult years of raising teenagers, working full-time, and preserving my marriage.  The YMCA opened up the street from us in Norman offering all five of us a chance to work off some daily frustrations, and the Duck Pond at OU became our Saturday home as we ran the jogging course together.  We often treated our family to the greasy hamburgers and fries at O'Connell's Irish Pub after a good hard run. We weren't perfect!

A few years ago my daughter added to the 103 year old goal when she sent me a newspaper clipping, not a "link" (It's a family tradition to send newspaper clippings, helping to keep my mother's memory alive.) about a woman who didn't shoot her first hole in one until she was 103!  That hurt, especially since I haven't enjoyed watching my ball fly into a hole in one, yet.

My husband explains that decades passed, I prefer to say years,  then suddenly on December 1 of 2012 my medicare card went into effect, but I refused to use it.  Instead I attached the workout schedule for the month and set a goal of working out at least five hours every week until I turned 65 on Dec. 26.  Goal accomplished, and now it is months later, not decades.

In the last few years since retirement, my overall health turned a life sustaining curve when a trainer guided me to Pilates and other core strengthening exercises.  My body and soul felt alive and healthy after only a few weeks of Pilates, and my back grew stronger every week.  After two years of Pilates, I added Yoga and then light weights.  With three years of consistent training, plus long leisurely morning and evening walks with the dog, I can now play golf three to four days in a row; I can play competitively and not ice myself down the following week in a state of collapse.  Pilates and yoga will be my friends till the end, I hope.  The old idiom "A body at rest stays at rest; a body in motion stays in motion" is true, and I would add a body in motion stays healthier (Ok, maybe I need to attribute some of my ability to exercise and play golf to Advil or Aleve.)
Core Pilates with Abby Hurst.

Maybe it's the wine, the beer, the cheese and crackers, or the delicious large servings of healthy foods,but something is causing me to gain weight, right in the middle of my body.  So I decided I would take care of that problem by joining a "Couch to 5K" group three times a week.  For one thing, I wouldn't be drinking alcohol on those evenings, nor would I be eating large meals.  My line of thinking was simple--after eleven weeks of training I'd be a thinner me.  My brain forgot that my feet, knees, legs muscles, and hips were 65 years old!  I thought I was going to die that night after jogging only a minute and walking two minutes, over and over and over.   Sadly, my body ached enough that I admitted "defeet".  Jogging will not be in my future, but I am remaining dedicated to walking briskly,  two times a week with the dog, during the time of evening when I might toast a drink or eat a snack.  Who knows, but it is a constant battle to stay on the healthy side.

Recently, my dentist told me that my teeth and gums looked healthy and complimented me on taking care of them.  (Doc Jackson was convinced I'd loose my teeth by 25 because of cavities! Fear of false teeth at an early age pushed me to brush, floss, and care for my teeth.)  I asked Dr. Loudenback, "Will they last till I'm 103?"

He laughed, "They could."

Explaining my comment, I said, "I plan to live that long, if exercise, healthy eating, a positive mental attitude, and faith make a difference."

He smiled, "I just hope I'm alive when your 103."


  1. I am doing well. Ready to play some golf, the best part of all this is I was 5 days clean and now I am 42 days clean so I may live till I am 103. Ha ( no smoking) in case you were wondering about being clean. Can' t wait till I see you again. Keep the stories coming.

  2. Good Job! I hope you live to be 103 because that means I will be 100!!! And......I want to witness your first hole in one. What grand old ladies we will be.....Smile