The Harsh Reality
Gerald Marzorati, author of an upcoming book, “Late To The Ball,” wants us to realize that those of us who are exercising our minds and bodies in hopes of erasing 20 years are merely deluding ourselves. He points out that as we age our eyesight, our fast twitch fibers that give us power and speed will recede, and our balance is not what it was at 40!
Marzorati gives us a suggestion for a way in which we can feel like we did when we are 60+ and want to feel like we are 40. He maintains, “Find something new, something different to immerse yourself in and improve at it.” He is referring to improving at something that demands a new skill set. For example, he mentions trying a new musical instrument or sport. We all remember learning to read and how we worked at getting better at speed and comprehension. He believes that same mind set could set us free — in a sense! He gives the example of how he took up playing tennis in his 50’s. What was great and helped was the end result. Not that he was Wilt Chamberlain, but that the road there was helpful in
strengthening his skill set. A neuroscientist at the University of Texas took 200 people and randomly assigned them new activities to do for 15 hours a week. The results showed that those learning a complicated new skill improved their memory.
Coming To Terms With Reality
The activities you plan will of course help, but many people who study the aging process admit that the aging process still remains a mystery. Marzorati relates that while he got better at tennis he still plays like he is in his 60’s. What’s most important to him is what he learned along the way. Self improvement takes time, but you make it your own. He found himself immersed in the present and what can be in the future. I have to quote his exact words because I found them the most meaningful of his comments.
“In this new pursuit of yours, practice is your practice: it continues to determine the way you eat and sleep and shape your days. It is not your life, but one of the lives that make up your life, and the only onw for which looking ahead, at least for a little while longer, is something done without wistfulness or a flinch.”