Activity Needn’t End With Retirement

2906 YPGactivity neednt end big150x
2906 YPGactivity neednt end big150x

Throughout his long life, first as an athlete then as a coach, famous Kiwi Arthur Lydiard preached an emphatic message on the benefits of physical fitness.

When Lydiard died of heart failure in a Texas motel at 87 in late 2004 he was on a tour of the United States, still delivering his gospel.

But at that moment of his passing it wasn't the message that mattered. It was that right up till the day of his death Lydiard was still doing what he loved doing most.

He had died demonstrating one of the most important axioms of life: the need to live it right to the end, because there's no second time around.

As Lydiard himself might have said, life isn't over till you cross the finishing line.

Despite the example of Lydiard and others, it seems each new generation of senior citizens has to be reminded that an active life doesn't end with retirement.

The reminder is particularly important today with many people's retirement lasting much longer than in any previous generation.

To be encouraged to believe that the twilight years are full of possibilities, senior citizens need good role models. Accordingly, we present profiles of six ordinary elderly people who are achieving extraordinary things. The six are:

Doug Ball, 79, of New Plymouth, scaling mountains up to 4000m (13,000ft) and the oldest person to climb Mt Aspiring (3033m).

Rose Jacob, 93, of Hamilton, New Zealand Masters Games champion in the over-90 sprint race and other events.

Mose Harvey, 72, over-70 world tennis singles champion. No small achievement, given that he worked full time as well.

Kathleen Pring, 79, retired intermediate-school teacher who went to university and now has a Master of Arts degree in history.

Ray Glasgow, 95, who has completed 34 of Auckland's annual 8.4km Round the Bays runs.

Joyce Harper, 90, a tenpin bowler for 20 years and playing for a team in her local tenpin league. What do these six have in common? They're living life right to the finish. And so can you.