Inspirational people are everywhere. We just need to open our eyes.
My parents are inspirational. Hey, someone should make a film about my parents. Or at least write a novel. I find it hard to believe that someone like Nike haven’t picked them up for advertising. They certainly speak to the part of the population I belong to.
Which part is that?
Well, the not inspirational part which loves chocolate and isn’t above hiding in the wardrobe to eat it away from the kids.
The part that crawls out of bed while it’s still dark and doesn’t wake up until they’ve been at work for at least half an hour.
The part that needs caffeine to function.
And the part that wants to live a long and fruitful life but today, doesn’t think they’ll survive until tea time.
That part of the population. My part.
As far as inspirational advertising goes, I don’t relate to the skinny dude who runs through puddles in his flash new trainers with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. If anyone filmed me doing that, it would be one long complaint interspersed with expletives. There would be muddy trainers and one very wet Kate, who fell in face first as the director shouted, ‘Action!’
My parents could do it though.
So, who are these inspirational people who put the tric(k) in geriatric?
Here they are back in 2012 when they visited us in New Zealand. They both worked full-time, Dad as a nurse specialist and Mum as an IT training manager. They squirreled enough money away to visit and we traveled, ate and laughed. Sometimes all at the same time. In the latter days of their employed lives, they learned new things. Dad learned to horse ride and Mum learned to swim. I should’ve seen it coming.
They sound like a couple of harmless people in their sixties don’t they?
Don’t be fooled.
Dad retired before Mum and when she left, her employer probably replaced her with three humans and a robot. She’s never still, always busy and handed that wonderful trait onto my children. So thanks for that. But they both worked hard. At Mum’s retirement, the burning question reared its head.
“So, Maureen, what will you do with all your free time?”
I’m not sure they expected the answer, but certainly didn’t take it seriously. “I’m losing weight and getting fit,” she said.
Who says that?
Isn’t retirement about taking it easy?
Eating what you like.
Staying in your pyjamas until lunchtime.
Going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Sitting with your feet up by an open window with a book in your lap?
Not my parents. Their list of retirement activities make me look lazy in my prime.
Every week when we Skyped, a new hobby got added to the growing list of things they did. In the early days, Mum started Weight Watchers, which meant Dad did it too and then came the clanger. Amidst the bowling, baking, trips to the gym, Red Cross support, swimming, knitting and sewing, there was room for just one more thing.
“You what?” I turned up the volume on the laptop. Surely, I misheard. “That’s funny; I swear I thought you said you went for a run.”
Yep. She did. It started as a trot down the very long hill from my parents’ house into the village and then it was Park Run in Gainsborough. Then they joined the Striders and then it was half marathons.
I swear they picked up the wrong baby at the hospital. My idea of relaxation is a stack of books, a glass of wine and a foaming bath with an unending supply of hot water. Dad’s already 70 and my Mum joins him in the ranks of the septuagenarians later this year. These crazy people are probably fitter than most of us in our 40s. Yet they’re amazing adverts for life after retirement. They’re awesome and I’m proud.
Why is Nike not banging on their front door? If anyone can say, “Just do it,” it’s them.
They’re usually in the local newspaper after a meet. I’m grateful it’s for something legal.
They’ve got me on Weight Watchers and my sister coaches me from the other side of the globe. It’s a battle. I had 12lbs to lose and I’ve shed about 5. I’ve increased my exercise from just 5kms of walking to encompass some running too and raised it to 7kms minimum. I doubt I’ll ever catch up with my parents.
I’m surprised nobody’s ever profiled them, but also kinda pleased because I get to blow the family trumpet.
They are the definition of inspirational people
Mum’s a Gold member at Weight Watchers and she still goes every Thursday night and gets weighed. Oh, and they’ve both got another 10km race on Sunday of this week. They dragged me to the Gainsborough Parkrun last year when I visited the UK. I’m sure they’ll drag me to the one on my own doorstep in New Zealand next time they’re here.
If you ever see them running, give them a wave and a cheer. Shout, “That’s from Kate!” It’ll make them run faster.
These medals are what they’ve earned in the last year or so.
I’m told that more were added since this photograph.
If you’re interested in getting fit, click any of the links below.
The Moral of the Story
Never think you can’t. Never say you can’t. Put down that tub of ice cream and stop crying at the sight of yourself in the mirror. There truly is no excuse.
The only person stopping you, is you.
K T BOWES is the author of 20 mystery romances.
Some are set in New Zealand and others in the UK.
Check out her writing on the BOOKS page.