Trying 65 New Things for My 65th Year on Earth
My peers and I (from High School) are all turning 65 this year. Some already have, and some like me will be looking at the landmark birthday in the near future – in my case next May. Still, technically, this IS my 65th year of life until the time I turn exactly 65 and it is a good time to reassess, re-prioritize, and take stock of health related matters and fitness levels.
I recently returned from Miraval Spa, and read this just past blog at http://arlenelassin.com/fear-risk-aversion-aging-and-doing-something-dangerous/ about my ultimate scary experience there, yet my dearest friend Marci and I had the best experience and time together. We met another lady there turning 60, and she wanted to try 60 new things for her monumental birthday. Marci and I thought that would be a great idea for our 65th. So we are off and running and have a Miraval furnished journal to record these things in.
At Miraval, we were able to check off five or six or more new things we experienced — some of which would not be for the weak of heart. (Again, READ http://arlenelassin.com/fear-risk-aversion-aging-and-doing-something-dangerous/ ) Some of the things we did one would never even know about, and so I am here to describe just a few things to you, my dear readers. With photos.
- Slack-lining. When I signed us up for this task, I knew I had never done it before, but was curious to try it. Done up in the air, it is an extreme sport and one day may make the Olympics as it takes great athletic ability. Since I have done Hot Yoga (Bikram style) for six years, I thought my balance was fairly good. It is true that I have had some accidents and spills and falls with nary an injury; and many times I have caught my balance and did not fall, so it seems that I am in good shape with strong bones due to the yoga. Still, this slack-lining challenge took more than balance. It required a meditative super-human strength of balance because you are not walking on a steady non-moving object. I posted a video on my Facebook page, and I cannot put it on here, but it shows just how difficult the task is, even though for this class, we were only two feet off the ground. The reason it is so challenging: it is a slack line, given to bounce and bobble like crazy when you step on it, making it impossible to steady your body and keep your footing. Out of our women group of eight or so trying it that afternoon, all of us spun out and hopped down after one or two steps at most on it before the instruction began. After actually trying it, I wasn’t sure I could walk all the way to the other end without falling, despite a friend’s arm/hand assist or the same by the instructor. But then we learned some techniques and tricks to steady the line by bending our knees, and putting a leg out to the side to get our balance. Soon, we were able to take more than one or two steps. Marci and I both were victorious in walking the entire line by the end of class. It was a challenge, and fun, and non-threatening, but we understood, and the instructor confirmed, that the athleticism required for walking without an assist takes weeks to months to learn to do. Still, since balance is such an important thing to prevent falls as we age, I was glad I did it. Here is a photo:
2. Aerial Yoga. I have been to many Cirque du Soleil performances and have seen athletes and gymnasts climb and hang on silk hammocks and ropes before, and now the layman can try it in aerial yoga. It is not easy, nor graceful for the first timer, and it made me understand the arm, hand, and leg strength required by those Cirque performers. Here are some photos of my last pose, which was wrapping my rear in the silk, hoisting my legs up in the air, wrapping them around the silk, and then letting go upside down. Awkward! A bit intimidating too! But we did it. I want to do it again, but now I understand that it is a lot more challenging than I thought.
3. A Ropes Challenge obstacle course high in the sky above the trees, fear of heights be damned. Again, this is described in detail in my previous blog because I learned so much about myself. Here’s a few photos of that:
4. Texas Two Step. I wrote an article on this form of dance and its popularity in Houston for the Houston Chronicle one time but I had never tried it even though I have lived in Texas for 38 years! It was fun, and better exercise than I understood it to be. It makes me want to try it for real, though I loathe most country music, yet I do love to dance. I want to get Marci to try the Cotton Eyed Joe, a Texas line dance that is SO MUCH FUN. Next time, for sure.
5. Zip-Lining – WHEEEEEEE!!!!! I had never done this before and I must say that I felt like a kid doing it. Must do this again. And again folks, THIS is why we must try new things every once in a while. We don’t know what we are missing!
6. Crystal meditation. WOW, just wow. I had never done this before, and never even considered the amazing breakthrough and healing power of crystals so I learned so much in this class. I witnessed some monumental breakthroughs by classmates and SAW with my own eyes the power of these crystals if used in the right way. Enough said about this so you can try it on your own and be surprised.
For the rest of my new experiences, I am going to try new foods, new restaurants (as I tend to frequent the same old favorites) new travel, and new entertainment. This is a fun goal to try to achieve in 65 new experiences in my 65th year, so I highly recommend it. You will feel younger just for trying fun and crazy things, and isn’t that a good thing at our age. Stay tuned. I am sure I will have other things to write about as I go along.