Today was no different. I woke up after the awesome night's sleep that followed a day of snowshoe adventure in the great outdoors and I still felt tired. Marty and I had planned to go snowboarding today, but I was still sooo tired after all that activity, and packing up my gear, driving the hour to the hill, buying a ticket, riding the gondola to the top, and all that carving down the slopes seemed like so much work. "It's not like I'm 19 anymore," I said to Marty, "I don't seem to have the endless energy I used to." He grinned, pulled the covers off of me and sent me to the dresser to dig out my long johns.
We drove to the hill excited to be living our version of the 19 year olds we once were. We left the house at 9am, not quite the 7am, must get there when the hill opens, start of our youths. We stopped for Egg Mcmuffins, not quite the Red Bull, our younger selves might have tried to fuel ourselves with. We blasted our pre ski tunes, a little quieter than we once would have and we paid for our lift tickets with big bills, not the loonies and toonies we both had histories of counting out for the lift operators.
We settled onto the bench seat in the gondola across from a delightful man, who definately appeared older than us. I noticed his mittens first, because I had been looking at purchasing new ones myself, thinking that mine were getting old. His looked old, really old, but I could tell by the way they fit, by the way the soft snot wipe part of them was almost all rubbed off, by how soft the leather looked, by how his jacket sleeves tucked into them perfectly, that they were his favorites and had skiied with him a long time. His poles were held by these mitts and they too looked like they had seen many mountains. The old man shifted in his seat and I noticed his hat. It was a cowboy hat, no tuque or ear warmer, just a really old cowboy hat with a hatband on it made of some kind of wild animal teeth. His name tag was velcroed to his lapel, he obviously had worked for the hill in his past. The tag read, Trapper Terry. I observed this man with awe. He definately looked old, my guess was seventy something, to be skiing out there by himself. I quietly hoped that I would be like him one day, doing something I was sooo passionate about well into my seventies.
We got to visiting with Trapper Terry and he told us his birthday was February 14th. He informed us he would be turning....93!!!!!!!!!! Marty and I both almost fell off our bench. That is awesome, I thought, awesome!!!!!! He told us he was born in 1917 and he has been skiing forever. He said he is a little slower than he used to be, but he can still ski every run at Sunshine. He said he has had his poles for almost 30 years, but he tries to update his skis as often as the technology changes.
I stepped out of the gondola at the top, feeling inspired. I will no longer be able to use getting older as an excuse for not doing things I used to. If Trapper Terry can still ski at 93 than I can still make a damn good effort to do everything forever too. I hope I am as lucky as him. I hope I get to be doing the things I love at 93. I have no reason to believe I won't be. I have genetics on my side! My Great Grandma Lily lived to be well over 100 years old! She lived in her own house, sharing stories and love with her grandchildren until the day she passed away. My Grandma Betty at 91, still has a strength and attitude that will give anyone a run for their money! And Grandma Mimi is living proof that there are adventures to be had well after 85! Here's to getting older, I hope we all do!!!!!!