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Today is December 11, 2017

Grin 'n' Bare It

Growing old gracefully

Kay Grafe
Kay Grafe

I have mentioned previously that Mr. Roy and I find ourselves going to more doctor appointments than to the grocery. Well, not quite, but you get the point. I have an idea what causes this dilemma, but I hate to say the word “age.”

As we were returning home last week from an appointment in Mobile, our discussion delved into the fact that almost every physician we visit talks about the value of exercise, and especially as we grow older. I was sure he was speaking about my partner since he is so much older than me. But when I broached that subject, the physician told me he was speaking to both of us. However, I know he didn’t want to hurt Mr. Roy’s feelings.

The last doctor also gave us a report describing the results of a recent study that shows exercise can reduce the chances of dementia in older adults. Whether this is true or not, I do know it makes you feel better.

In fact, these doctors who have been extolling the benefits of exercise to Mr. Roy and me are preaching to the choir. My partner was an athlete in high school and college and has always stayed active. In the late 1970s both of us got interested in running and stayed active runners until a few years ago.

And when I say “interested,” we actually became involved big time. Soon our weekends were spent driving to different towns in our area to race.

I asked Mr. Roy, “How many races do you think we ran during those 30 years?”  

He thought a few minutes and answered, “I know we ran over one hundred 10K races (6.2 miles), and several 5K races (3.1 miles), one half marathon (13.1 miles) and two marathons (26.2 miles). I’ll never forget the marathons, especially those long, cold training runs after work.

“While we ran during 12 months of the year, our race season was primarily January through May. Although one Fourth of July we did run a 10K race in Atlanta. Believe me, that was a hot one!”

By the way, in Atlanta we ran by Margaret Mitchell’s house. Do you know who she is? Close your eyes before you look at the answer: She wrote “Gone with the Wind.”  

Back to exercise. Today we fast-walk five days each week and also work out with weights two of those days. I know that some people have health conditions preventing them from participating in heavy exercise. I sincerely believe, however, that some type of exercise is extremely important for people of all ages, especially as we grow older. I can still run, but Mr. Roy has a bad knee and I don’t want to hurt his feelings, so I fast-walk with him.

While I am in the “giving advice” mode, I will pass on another tidbit that Mr. Roy and I recently read and liked. A study was conducted that revealed results I could have predicted. It said that what pleases a person over a longer period of time are not material things, but experiences.

For example, we may spend $10,000 to trade for a new car we want, or we may spend that same amount to take a trip. Chances are we will remember the trip and cherish its memory long after the new car is completely forgotten. We are a product of our experiences and memories, and the older I get the more I realize this is so true.

You have reached the end of this month’s column, but remember this: You received some good Grin ‘n’ Bare It advice, and it didn’t cost you a penny. Of course, you may say, “Well, it’s worth exactly what it cost.” 

Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.  

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