Yesterday at the Y, I glanced in at an exercise class on my way to the track. In the middle of the young people dancing and throwing air punches was a man at least fifty years older than anyone else in the class.
Now he was no superhuman specimen. When the other folks jumped in place, he did a bizarre little step that made him look like a robot with fried circuits. But as I walked on to the track, I realized that this man was my hero.
This is how I want to be when I am old. (And considering how often people ask me when I’m going to retire, that stage is not too far off.) I want to be the person who joins the aerobics class and doesn’t worry about how I compare either in appearance or skill to the other people in the class, as long as I get my work out. I want to be the person who tries new things, learns new skills, and still makes a contribution.
Of course, there is only one sure way to be that person (assuming that I am granted the time and the health). And that is to be that person now. If I’m afraid to take chances now, I can’t imagine that I’m going to suddenly wake up the day after I’m retired ready to do so.
A wise person once said to think of the person you want to be and then start doing the things that person would do.
It’s simple advice, but not easy. Still, it’s essential if we want the next stage of our lives to be different from the present one.