…I’m gonna learn how to fly
Barb and I have been lying. To ourselves and to each other. To friends and family too. Ever since we turned the big “LX” along with some of our buddies, we have been telling the world that 60 is the new 40. It turns out we were wrong. According to an article in the New York Times, 60 is still 60. Our bodies have changed, our brains have changed and we are in the “anteroom of the aged.” How’s that for a spring awakening?
The Times article, written by Gerald Marzorati, suggests that all the workouts, all the dieting, all the brain games we play won’t really do a thing to keep us from aging, gracefully or otherwise. The author’s prescription for possibly adding a few years of life, and keeping memory intact, is to choose and master a new task. And not to go about it casually, but to find a coach in whatever it is you want to master, and strive for the 10,000 hour mark that makes an expert. Talk about digging in!
The task Mr. Marzorati has undertaken is to become a decent tennis player. He has trained in at a tennis academy and improved his game. Now Barb and I have been playing tennis for the last 10 or 15 years, sometimes with coaches, sometimes without. I regret to say that if becoming a good tennis player is what it will take for either of us to add a decade or so, we might as well have the Grim Reaper as the line judge.
So what are the new tasks we can choose to master? Who knew that Barb would become a juggler? She is currently juggling building a house and selling one, doing hand therapy here and hand therapy there, planning a wedding for one of our kids and baby sitting for the other, and oh yeah tennis. She may not have coaching for most of it, but I see no problem with her getting in her 10,000 hours of juggling. She must be lengthening her lifeline with every faucet she chooses and diaper she changes.
As for me, to master a sport, any sport, is a non-starter. I have given up golf, frequently feel like giving up tennis, and haven’t bowled in years. I do a bit of running, but my time for last weeks 5K race indicated I won’t be winning any trophies, even in my senior(ish) age group. I guess short form writing, such as this blog, has become my new passion. 10,000 hours = 10,000 posts? I don’t think anyone would want to sit through that! Now a novel on the other hand…that would add years to my life!
Any suggestions for new skills to master, comment below, or send ’em along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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