Dr. Mary Manz Simon, ALOA Board of Directors
“I’m too young to look so old.”
Has that thought crossed your mind? As the pandemic drags on, some of us have discovered the mirror doesn’t lie. One poll discovered that women feel they aged four years in a single pandemic year.
Another study found the nation’s blood pressure has increased. Signs of pandemic-accelerated aging aren’t imagined. Scientists agree: the pandemic is aging us at a faster-than-normal pace.
Before-and-after pandemic photos confirm this fact. “Stress aging” of the past two years can trigger an unwelcome chain of events which has a cumulative effect on how we feel, look and behave.
A flurry of anti-aging solutions offers the usual suggestions. Exercise. Eat smart. Improve and extend your sleep. Practice stress-reducing activities including meditation, yoga and spiritual discipline to meld body and mind. And now, sport enthusiasts would add, “read the headlines to be encouraged.”
Three “Golden Agers” have been praised as inspirational human beings “not being slowed by age.” Tom Brady, Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner deserve the accolades. Forty-four-year-old Brady briefly retired after 22 years of NFL football. Thirty-six-year-old Jacobellis became the oldest American woman to win an Olympic medal. At age 40, Baumgartner, her snowboard cross partner, was the oldest American athlete at the Beijing Games.
Uplifted? Invigorated? Motivated?
Although I respect, appreciate, and enthusiastically applaud the stellar performances of world class athletes, I’m more inspired by some true old timers.
- Noah, who at the age of 600, grabbed a hammer to build an ark longer than any of Brady’s football fields.
- Or Joshua, who at 101 years of age modeled leadership as the walls of Jericho tumbled before him. He didn’t wait for someone else to step forward.
- Or Anna, a night owl who was “very old”, her work ethnic continued even as she led a somewhat eccentric life.
Age doesn’t define impact when God leads the way.