Monday, January 28, 2013

The Blue Hair Brigade

Anyone who's been reading my blog knows I'm old. Yeah, I'm 66, which means that I've been on Medicare for a year. I haven't used it much though. Haven't needed to. In fact, I didn't use it until this last December when I went for my initial visit with our new doctor.

Along with Medicare comes eligibility for a supplemental insurance program to offset what Medicare doesn't pay. We signed up for that, too, but when it came time for open enrollment in October we decided to switch supplemental policies. We opted for Arkansas Blue Cross/Blue Shield. It's cheaper than our previous policy and it comes with a distinct advantage: Silver Sneakers. It's a wellness program that gives its members full access to a participating fitness center. The one I use is a full service fitness center affiliated with the local hospital and besides full access to it, they provide a Silver Sneakers class Monday through Friday.

The opportunity couldn't have come at a better time. I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Time to get my ass in gear in order to prevent full-blown diabetes. My words, not my docs. He was nicer.

I started participating in the Silver Sneakers class just before we left for Christmas vacation and I jumped back in when we got home. I can't go on Tuesday and Thursday because of my commitment to the Clothes Closet, but I try to make it Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I like it despite the fact that every time I walk into the classroom and see all the old men and women it reminds me of how old I really am. Three walls are covered with mirrors. It's hard not to look. Nothing but gray hair as far as the eye can see, some light gray, some dark gray, some bordering on blue, with an occasional obviously tinted coif.

There are times when I don't feel like going to the class. No particular reason, I just don't feel like taking the hour out of my day. But after each class I'm always glad I did because I feel good after exercising and I also gain a little perspective.

Last Friday a man joined the class in his wheelchair. He used the weights and resistance bands and moved his feet in time to the music as best he could.

Sarah is recovering from a stroke. She drags her right foot when she walks and can't use her right arm or hand very much, but she's determined.

Charles is recovering from heart bypass surgery. Not only does he fully participate, but he is the self-designated equipment monitor.

I wore my Race for the Cure t-shirt today and one of the women stopped me and asked if I was breast cancer survivor. I told her no, that I walk in support of my friends who are. She shared that she was a survivor.

We are all there to thwart the onset of a potentially debilitating disease or to recover from a life-threatening surgery or medical event. We all want to be healthier versions of ourselves.

Getting old sucks. My face has more wrinkles every year. My boobs sag. My butt has dimples. But I refuse to create a self-fulfilling prophecy by doing nothing.


Doris Finch said...

Terri, you don't know from old. I have eleven years on you, had both knees replaced, two cataract surgeries in the last two weeks, my son calls me bionic woman [ha!] and still...There's a dance in the old dame yet. Wotthehell, wotthehell [Don Marquis, Archie and Mehitabel]

I found you on Altadenahiker. Karin is a friend, real, not virtual. Your image brought me to a book written by my husband on aging, of all things.

Terri said...

You made me feel very fortunate today. Keep on dancing Doris!

I wish I could say that I created the image, but I found it on the internet.

Thanks for the link to your husband's book. It looks interesting.

Doris Finch said...

Thanks, Terri,

I have made my husband swear that if he find the anti-aging secret source, I get first dibs. In the meantime, I'll settle for anti-raccon secrets. They just ate our newish hammock in time for a lovely day in Altadena.