Fit at 79, sort of—poem

Some can go it alone
and some never need to be told
but I need a weekly schedule
for hula, Pump, t’ai chi
Pilates and Crows Feet dance
and a walk up the hill
or a swim.

When I’m away from home
squats and press-ups do the trick.
I have a training buddy
and we keep ourselves on track.
I’m proud. I like to tell myself
that’s what I do
and know it’s sort of true.

I’m not the best, I’m not the worst
and this won’t last forever
but for now
we do our bit to stay alive
my dear old flesh and bones
and muscles and mind
and me.

Rachel McAlpine

Cartoon of lopsided old woman training with hand weights.

Strength maintenance is the aim of training when you are older, not being fitter than an Olympic gymnast.

Even at 79 I find that great improvements in strength and well-being are possible. But only with a schedule and a training buddy. Share if your readers are interested! CC BY 2.0 rachel mcalpine.

26 thoughts on “Fit at 79, sort of—poem

  1. Sadje says:

    You have inspired me to start some sort of routine too. Great poem

    1. Imagine that—a poem as self help starter. That’s great, Sadie. Have fun.

      1. Sadje says:

        Thanks Rachel

  2. Mr. Wapojif says:

    You don’t look 79 at all in your Avatar, well done for keeping fit! A lot of people complain about ageing, but I see the beauty in the process in many ways. If that’s not patronising – perhaps at 34 I don’t know what I’m talking about yet.

    My advice? More tea! Ginger tea, nettle, cinnamon etc.

    1. I have glorious wrinkles. How dare you insult me by saying I don’t look 79. And if tea makes you fit, go for it.

      1. Mr. Wapojif says:

        Not trying to insult you at all, madam! Sorry if that’s how it came across.

      2. Emoji required 🙂 Of course I wasn’t really insulted. I am just practising my anti-ageism responses.

      3. Mr. Wapojif says:

        Ah, well I am offended by your lack of offendedness! But yes, always a good idea to get one’s rebuttals sorted. Innit.

  3. JOY journal says:

    What, pray tell, is a crow’s feet dance?! Is there an exercise to get rid of them!!!?

    1. Aha! No, I have never attempted dancing for epidermal remediation, although who knows, dance is powerful. I belong to the Crows Feet dance group for which you must be over 35 🙂

  4. I love your poem! One week before I turn 78, and I’m more aware than ever of the importance of exercise for body, mind and spirit. I recently took up Nordic pole walking (which exercises 90% of our muscles, they say) and I am really loving it! I am accountable to no one, though, and I think that’s a problem. It can take me until late afternoon to talk myself into getting out, even though I love it when I do! So I’ll heed your advice and find some support.

    1. That’s a great story! I hope you find a Nordic walking buddy or group to make it

  5. … easier:)

  6. Inspiring and delightful, as always and I’m laughing at the gorgeous idea of a dance that gets rid of crows fee – a splendid comment. You gather buddies because of your generosity and love of life.

    1. Maggie, that’s a beautiful way to perceive my blog, thank you. Hm, dancing in our skins…

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I work out with a wonderful 22 year old trainer and several other “ladies of a certain age.” My trainer would be quick to demand that both bar bells be the same size!

    1. Ha! Perceptive.

  8. lindakerr36 says:

    I just like the lovely lopsided picture!

  9. Cathy Cade says:

    Love the poem.
    I’ve always avoided exercise – from school sports onwards – but at 69 I’m realising that the daily dog walk isn’t going to do the business (the dog is16 and arthritic so she’s slower than I am). I may get on the treadmill first thing because I’ve read that’s when it has most effect, but I don’t stay on it for long. It’s so BORING! Even the dusting calls me away (I notice the dust while I’m walking; I wouldn’t see it otherwise.)
    Now dancing… I can keep that up all night, given the opportunity.

    1. I hope you can find the opportunity because dancing is the ultimate.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sounds awful,
    the work I mean,
    not the poem.

    Me– except for
    the buddy scene
    (If we also talk,

    Which is hopeful)
    and the dancing–
    I’d stay at hoem,

    Or take a walk
    With a neighbor.
    Or try gardening.

    1. I am enjoying your poetic replies to my Unyoung poems. Must be hard work for your fingers…

  11. Inspiring! Great poem, important message.

    1. Thank you!

  12. srbottch says:

    Excellent. So important to keep our strength for as long as we can. Nice poem.

    1. Thank you! Yes, my mother used to say there’s no rest for the wicked.

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