Every day just before the lunch break I would hear a lusty “On your left!” warning before the gray haired man flashed by me with a wave and a big smile. Not that I wasn’t used to being passed all the time as I had chosen to ride a stable mountain bike in the seven day road ride they call “Cycle Oregon”. My average speed, including all the stops you make, was about ten miles and hour which meant that I spent an average of seven to ten hours a day on my bike. As this man passed me everyday, I couldn’t help but notice that he must be one of the older riders. His gray hair blew out around his helmet and his wiry figure showed loose skin and wrinkles. One day I was just coming out of the lunch line with a full plate looking for a place to eat when I spotted him sitting next to a warm sunny wall. There was another spot to sit, so I asked his permission and sat down. I thought it would be interesting to see how old he was if would discuss it. Not only would he discuss it, but he showed me his drivers license so I would believe it. He was 86 years old! He was proud of his age and proud of the fact that he was able to ride this event. Of course I asked his advice. His answer was simple, “Move it or lose it . . . both your body and your mind.” He said he trains through pain and give himself mental challenges on a daily basis. He was my new hero.
I have never forgotten him and I hope to live up to his example. Age, after all, is just a preconceived notion trap and you are only as old as you convince yourself you are.
Causes Linda Hunter Supports