A few days ago while shaving one morning I took a look at myself in the mirror and was struck by the fact I really look old now! It didn't especially bother me since I have embraced geezerhood for a long time and have no particular vanity about my appearance. However, I am beginning to realize that while I have one perception of myself as a vibrant oldster, people I encounter may have another perspective. Maybe with mask wearing what has become the norm for the pandemic is a boon for we seniors. While on the ski slopes I frequently encounter folks who look at my helmet with an 85+ sticker and get the reaction "You can't be that old!" Perhaps they have had too many experiences with less agile seniors.
My musing at the mirror also sent me into thoughts of my geezer companions that haven't been on the slopes this season. Over 10 years ago our senior group of Greek Peak geezers dubbed ourselves as "Tough Old Geezer Skiers". This came from the leadership of Pat Ryan. Many of us began wearing name tags with our name and that identity. I don't remember making any particular formal census of numbers but it must have exceeded 20 people that identified with the group even if they didn't wear a name tag. For a period of time our annual luncheons near season's end would number more than 30 in attendance. In subsequent years our numbers have dwindled. Ten years ago we were mostly 70 and 80 year olds. You can do the numbers and now if we have survived we are 80 and 90 year olds. Thankfully some of us are still cranking turns on a regular basis. However, illness, aging and death has decimated our numbers. Plus the pandemic has discouraged some.
So what can we expect to happen in the next 10 years or so? The statistics would indicate that the late 80's and early 90's are the tipping points for retiring the skis. For me that will be the time to move on to other things. I like to think that one can adapt and fill the time with other endeavors. For me it will likely be doing projects that require researching interests in agriculture and engineering and writing think pieces if only for my own satisfaction. Learning never stops and a stimulated brain keeps one young in thought. Meanwhile, every day on the slopes is a precious gift. Living in the moment is a joy that I have embraced in my later years. May I continue to enjoy these latter years.
Finally what about the fate of the informal "Tough Old Geezer Skiers" organization? Now is the the time to recruit the 60 year olds! They need to be initiated into the joy of geezerhood skiing. Perhaps I need to write a book entitled the "Joy of Geezerhood Skiing". It could be a recruiting tool for more senior skiers!
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