Aging Gracefully

You have to truly grasp that everybody ages. Everybody dies. There is no turning back the clock. So the question in life becomes: What are you going to do while you’re here?” – Goldie Hawn

My family ran our annual Turkey Trot 5K race on Thanksgiving morning. Although I did not have a spectacular time (39:03), I placed 32 out of 116 in my age group. This is almost the top quarter. I was thrilled when I saw this and posted on Facebook, “If you’re a so-so runner like me, stay with it. All you have to do is get older.”

all ages run the Naperville Turkey Trot - 2013 photo by Chuck Koch

All ages run the Naperville Turkey Trot – 2013 photo by Chuck Koch

My sister-in-law, Maria, runs much faster than I do and has run several marathons. Her response to my post was, “Awesome, Sue. As we age gracefully, so our competitors lessen and our hard work pays off.” I am not even close to Maria’s level of fitness, and to hear her say “we” are aging gracefully was the highlight of my day.

I’m not sure I’ve ever thought much about that concept, but I sure thought about it that day. What does it mean to age gracefully? No matter whether you are 20 or 90 years old, you are aging. Probably aging gracefully means something different to you than it does to me.

Partly what it means to me is making an effort to stay in good health as I age. Three years ago, I had a bone density scan that showed osteopenia (low bone density). My Mom and Grandma both had back issues, and I hope not to have chronic back pain like they did. I have taken calcium since becoming an adult, but after that scan, the doctor said my supplement should include minerals. She also advised regular exercise. I recently had another bone density scan, and my bone density is now normal. By being proactive, I have strengthened my bones.

This good news made me determined to continue to work toward aging gracefully. There are still things I need to do to succeed.

* Keep my weight at a healthy level.

* Enjoy life. This includes continued effort to deal better with anxiety, which is a recurring issue for me. I don’t want to be anxious as I age.

* Keep serving as librarian at my church. Keep writing. I want to use my talents.

* Stay with my fun run club. I find role models there who keep me exercising.

Below is a picture of one of my role models for fitness, Muriel. In this photo, we are getting ready to run at a nearby park.

Muriel and I at knoch knolls photo 2 pic 8-2017

Muriel, left, and I at Knoch Knolls park

Muriel often schedules and leads fun runs during the day, which helps to keep me running. It is sometimes a challenge to keep up with her. Last April, she ran the Naperville Women’s half marathon 16 minutes faster than I did, placing 2nd in her age group. Muriel will turn 75 in mid December. She is an inspiration to me and to others in our running group. I am grateful for her friendship.

What does aging gracefully mean to you? What will you do or stop doing in order to age gracefully? Who are your role models?

About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: Facebook page:
This entry was posted in exercise, Healthy living, Inspiration, Proactive, Running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Aging Gracefully

  1. Sue, this was a great post. I would like to point out that you too are a role model. People are watching and I know that you are an inspiration to at least one person (myself) and I suspect many more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post and very encouraging! I think part of aging gracefully is embracing your years and being gracious to those enjoying their own, different, stages of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed this post, Susan (and sorry for coming to it so late). Good for you for “keeping on, keeping on”. I have a friend, Donna, who is in her early 80’s and is a medal carrying senior olympian, taking the lead in the broad jump and speed walking. This summer, she took home the gold in nationals AND she brought her medals in to the local newspaper and told them they should write a feature story on her winning. The did!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherri Russell says:

    I think the hardest part of “aging gracefully” for me personally is to stop comparing myself to others. Accepting myself for what I am and what I am able to do. There are times I will see someone or read about someone and immediately think “Oh I should work out more!” Or “I should volunteer more”. Or “I should lose 5 pounds!”. I have to stop myself and tell myself you are doing the best you can. God has a different plan for everyone and I need to focus on what I think God has planned for me … Although it would have been nice if God had wanted me to be skinny :-). Thank you as always Sue for your wonderful posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Ekins says:

      I hear you on this, Sherri! I still haven’t made much headway on a mystery novel I want to write, and I keep beating myself up for that. However, I assessed my values this year and realized “Connections” is really high on my values list. That’s why if I’m on the computer, I’m on social media or reading blogs “connecting” with people rather than writing that book. I’ll see if I can figure out a way to connect with people while writing (which is a solitary pursuit) in 2018. Maybe in your case, too, there is a high-priority value that conflicts with your fitness and volunteering “shoulds.” I appreciate your reminders that none of us is perfect, we just do the best we can, and that God has different plans for us than for someone else.


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