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June 26, 2015

Starting a business is hard work. Many times through the process I have felt overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted, and broke. We are not rich. Starting this business required jumping off a financial cliff, into the unknown. It has meant sacrifice and self denial. So what motivates me? Why do it?

Starting a business, for me, has required faith. “In God We Trust” our money says. Indeed. I trust God every moment of every day. He has taken the business this far, and I trust He will take it wherever He wants it to go from here. I am His hands and feet. I believe God put us here on earth to help other people, to love other people.

So that is my motivation. Love. I love people. I love you. It hurts me to see how older folks are treated in our culture. I want to change our culture. Yesterday I attended a conference to raise awareness of elder abuse in hopes of preventing it. We have to change our culture to stop the abuse.

I understand how we developed this culture. Our history in this country is of pioneers, trailblazing, westward expansion, battles and wars. Stuff for the young. But we are in a new era. Not that God’s perspective on old age has ever changed. God used many people as recorded in the bible, when they were quite old.

Now our attitude about aging can be the same as God’s. We can love people and value them no matter what their age. Old age should not be something to fear or avoid—as if it could be avoided. Face lifts, tummy tucks, hormone therapies, etc. are big business. I advocate another approach. Let’s embrace aging. Let’s learn about it, how we can excel at it. Knowledge is power. Instead of trying NOT to age, let’s try to age WELL. I have a good book for you to read. It is called Younger Next Year by Dr. Harry S. Lodge and Chris Crowley. I don’t like the evolutionary stance that Dr. Lodge takes, but his science of how the body works is good.

Dr. Lodge tells of the latest research which shows exercise is what keeps us healthy as we age. Not just a little exercise. A lot. And a certain kind. Forty minutes of heart elevating exercise four days a week and two days of serious weight training. There are other factors: relationships, having a cause to champion, eating well, sleeping well, managing one’s finances well.

We can help with all that here at the club. I was telling a young person about the club, our business. She said, “What are you telling me for? I’m not old.” To which I replied, “No, but you are AGING”. We are all aging. To deny it is not healthy or respectful. I have met young people who seem to regard old people as if they were not human. As if they were another species. It is another form of prejudice, called ageism. I’ve even met older people who were ageists. They were old, but they did not see themselves as old. I think our culture has segmented and separated age groups to the point that we don’t understand the aging process. I want to reach out to young people and involve them in the club. I want to show them the beauty and value of living a long and happy life, of making good choices and accumulating a wealth of knowledge.

And I want to show them how we can have fun! We can dance and sing and tell funny stories. We can make beautiful gardens and works of art. We have so much to share.

Long range plans include growing and making the clubs even more fun. We want to install an oxygen bar. A hyperbaric chamber, and an indoor salt water lap pool. Let’s enjoy aging. Let’s enjoy and help one another. Let’s age with grace.

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