Role models for the over 50s

24

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  • I certainly don't expect to be going on organised walks or belonging to a gym!

    Out of interest - may I ask "Why not?"
  • Tigsteroonie
    Tigsteroonie Posts: 24,954 Forumite
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    Not sure I'll be looking to an exercise fanatic as a role model in three years' time ...

    I'm more likely to look for someone who has lived well, enjoyed their life, and is still going strong. Someone who wasn't afraid of ageing and, although the number of years is high, isn't 'old'.

    (Pretty much my own Mum then!)
    :heartpuls Mrs Marleyboy :heartpuls

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    :) Proud Parents to an Aut-some son :)
  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741 Forumite
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    I deliberately took on a challenging property when I was 60, because I knew I'd never go near a gym.

    With 5.5 acres of weeds and a bungalow that needed serious input, there was plenty to keep me busy after giving up a business that I shared with my wife. We'd both developed tennis elbow through the repetitive heavy carrying that entailed, so it seemed something more varied would be better. By that time, I couldn't even use a hammer to knock in a nail.

    My Dad was my main inspiration, along with a delightfully mad friend who'd been a WW2 pilot and a couple of locally well-known gardeners, who'd continued well into their 80s, managing acres and opening reguarly for charity. They all proved that 80 is still too young to be considering a sedentary life.

    I was like my Dad; drank and smoked too much when young, but reformed in middle life, which definitely paid off for him, as he lived to 95. He would do exercises each morning and jump on his bike to go shopping. He only gave that up at 89, when he decided he wasn't steady enough.

    After 7 years of this more varied active life, non-smoking and largely teetotal, I don't think I'm as fit as my Dad was, nor is my garden anywhere near ready to open to the public, but that's possibly down to genes. Dad was a workaholic, whereas I know when to stop!

    Other role models? Probably Roger Daltrey, who's also a farmer and whose motto is, "Use it or lose it|!" with reference to his voice rather than any part of his anatomy, but it applies there too!
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 12,492 Forumite
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    I would not want anyone to organise my life and nor do I need to join any organised group in order to do things. Why on earth would anyone in their 60s+ want or need a role model? Surely 60 years of life has allowed a degree of initiative and independence to be built up within oneself. Organised exercise? lol. I shin up and down long ladders, work on my allotment, garden. maintain my home, follow several very interesting satisfying hobbles and all while accepting that I am me, that this is my life and it is down to me to be a role model to myself
  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741 Forumite
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    You can't be a role model to yourself, unless perhaps, you live on a desert island.

    Whether you choose to recognise it or not, people only make sense of the world by reference to other people and their actions, good and bad, sensible or stupid; it's built into us.
  • Davesnave wrote: »
    I deliberately took on a challenging property when I was 60, because I knew I'd never go near a gym.

    With 5.5 acres of weeds and a bungalow that needed serious input, there was plenty to keep me busy after giving up a business that I shared with my wife.

    I was remembering you Dave - and thinking "Well - Davesnave keeps at it and doesnt look like he's planning to 'go gently into that dark night' any time soon by the look of it":T:rotfl:
  • moneyistooshorttomention
    moneyistooshorttomention Posts: 17,940 Forumite
    edited 29 August 2016 at 7:28AM
    Davesnave wrote: »
    You can't be a role model to yourself, unless perhaps, you live on a desert island.

    Whether you choose to recognise it or not, people only make sense of the world by reference to other people and their actions, good and bad, sensible or stupid; it's built into us.

    True Dave. We all look to other people as a "reference point" for ourselves - even if the verdict is that we promptly decide to "go right against the crowd" on something.

    It's inbuilt in us from babyhood - where we watch everyone else in order to learn to how to talk/feed ourselves/etc/etc.

    Many people pick up ideas from other people even in adulthood - as Society wouldnt change otherwise (which may be a good or a bad
    thing - dependant on what aspect we are looking at).

    Actually - in many religions (Christianity for instance - thinking of the one I obviously know best as a Westerner - though I'm not a Christian personally) we are taught to look at role models (eg Jesus Christ, the Saints).

    Imo - if we were perfect then we wouldnt be here (ie on Earth) - as there'd be no need for a life/another life (dependant on which way one thinks of it) here on Earth. If one takes the view we are here basically to learn - then why wouldnt we take account of what other people have learnt/are learning? No point in just "getting through" our allocated 80 odd years as best we can and that's that imo - might as well try and make it "worth it" being here - again imo. We don't sit in classrooms at school just watching/listening to the teacher but not interreacting in the slightest with the other pupils in the class.

    Any one person's knowledge of like will be limited and informed by their own personal experience to a large extent.
  • Biggles
    Biggles Posts: 8,209 Forumite
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    There is a series of organised walks around where I live but they are entitled 'Health Walks', which puts me off completely.

    I want to go on a walk I will enjoy, maybe to see places of interest and discuss them, and meet other like-minded people. I can't imagine anything worse than going for a boring walk just because it's 'healthy'.

    Shame really, because I'd probably find I enjoyed it after all......

    Being an awkward old sod is a burden sometimes ;-)
  • lessonlearned
    lessonlearned Posts: 13,337 Forumite
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    edited 29 August 2016 at 11:07AM
    Apparently I'm a role model to quite a few people.......:rotfl:::rotfl: They tell me that I have inspired them to do things or try things.

    Apparently I look at things "differently" and have offered them a fresh perspective. People have told me they try to copy my approach to problem solving by thinking around a problem. They tell me they ask themselves "what would E do in this situation".

    Role models can be younger than us too, not just older or our own age. I know quite a few people decades younger than myself whom I find interesting and admire.

    Role models dont ways have to be "venerable" - they don't even have to be "sensible" or "worthy" - they can be young and scatty too.

    When I was younger I was a lot more serous and cautious - I missed out on a lot of fun:rotfl: I had to learn how to be frivolous. I can still be a bit "worthy" if I'm not careful. I had to learn to be less cautious and take a few risks.

    My husband taught me to "lighten up" - he was also the one who taught me how to think more creatively to solve problems. My younger sister (by 11 years) was always the less serious one, from her I learned to take a more lighthearted look at life. She taught me how to just let go and to allow a little silliness Into my life.

    My eldest son suffers from asthma but through sheer will Power and daily exercise he made himself stronger and healthier. I learned the value of exercise from him.

    My son, my sister and my husband were all younger than me and yet they all taught me a great deal and were excellent role models.

    I concur with others that keeping active, fit and healthy doesn't have to depend on formal exercise regimes, joining a gym or taking formal exercise classes.

    Housework, gardening, DIY, walking the dog, dancing, yoga, even singing (strengthens the lungs) are all forms of movement and activity which can keep us fit, healthy, strong and supple. I think it's about finding activities that we enjoy.

    If we try to exercise from a sense of duty or obligation we are less likely to succeed. If we do some thing because we enjoy it and it gives us pleasure then we are more likely to continue with it.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,017 Forumite
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    Biggles wrote: »
    There is a series of organised walks around where I live but they are entitled 'Health Walks', which puts me off completely.

    I want to go on a walk I will enjoy, maybe to see places of interest and discuss them, and meet other like-minded people. I can't imagine anything worse than going for a boring walk just because it's 'healthy'.

    Shame really, because I'd probably find I enjoyed it after all......

    Being an awkward old sod is a burden sometimes ;-)
    :rotfl: I can only tell you about a few 'Health Walks' because I didn't manage to do many: I found it reassuring to try them after the brain surgery, because although I felt mostly fine I wouldn't have wanted to be on my own in the middle of nowhere. Although I did go on one walk like that and got COMPLETELY lost!!!

    Anyway, although they were urban walks, they were interesting. The leaders would point out things we might not have noticed, or historic buildings, or the fact that the streets were still cobbled under the tarmac, you can see in the gutters. And we got a chance to chat to each other, in my case people I might never have met socially because the walks started near where I work which is a very different area to the one where I live.

    The one I remember most clearly was a 'graffiti walk', led by a very interesting chap who knew where all the best bits were, we even got a chance to do our own on the 'official graffiti wall'. (Mine was soon painted over.) Some of the big building projects have ASKED artists to decorate the hoardings, because they find that if it's done 'properly' they don't get the tagging and the obscene words. Some of it is very political and / or very clever. And yes, some of it is Banksy. He also knew the history of many of the buildings which were boarded up, and what their planning history was, and railed against the failure of the city planners to Sort Things Out.

    He also knew what had been involved in some of the work: the crocodile at the top of an abandoned office block was painted by someone hanging upside down with someone else hanging onto his ankles.

    Some of it was on the main road, so I'd seen it, but never really noticed it IYKWIM. Other examples were off the main road and you'd never find it if you didn't know it was there.

    And he pointed out lettering on some of the renovated buildings, where they have used our city's traditional lettering script, where the first and last letters are larger than the ones in the middle.

    The best bit was when he let us into an abandoned building (best not ask) and was suggesting what it could be used for: a community centre, a community cafe etc. Many of the walkers were what I can only call Matriarchs from the local non-white community, and THEY decided it would be perfect for a church, and broke into a rousing chorus of 'Amazing Grace'.

    The walking group I go out with most often started with the intention of sharing something interesting about the area we were in each time. Sometimes that still happens, other times it's just a lovely walk. Sometimes we meet interesting people - the postman told us that the lovely gates we were were admiring belonged to some celebrity or other, a local dairy farmer urged us to vote remain and told us which supermarkets paid a fair price for milk.

    I wouldn't get round to walking on my own, so I find it very useful. I find it makes me work a little bit at improving my fitness: it's embarrassing to be the youngest yet the slowest over stiles, so I go upstairs two at a time whenever I can ...

    Oh, and my group is full of 'awkward old sods' ...
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