I was thrilled when the International Council on Active Aging announced this year’s Active Aging Week (September 28-October 2) theme to be “Live Your Adventure”! This is one topic that I can get behind. Adventure is something that can turn the most boring lifestyle into one of great excitement. Oftentimes when I think about being adventurous, my mind automatically imagines huge, daring events such as skydiving or mountain climbing. I have only just started to find adventures in everyday life.
So far, I have been out of the United States seven times to three different countries. I have snorkeled The Great Barrier Reef, seen an opera in the Sydney Opera House, repelled down an 80 foot tall cliffside, and helped build multiple houses with my own hands. I can’t seem to get enough adventure. I find beauty in rest and relaxation, but I am always ready to face something new. I am frequently lured into new dreams of travel and fitness goals. There is unrest present when I am not being met with adventure. When I finally finished all my schooling, my view of adventure changed. I no longer had six weeks to spend in another country. I now faced figuring out which jobs to apply for and which friends to keep in touch with. Watching my younger comrades leave to study in Europe or hike the Pacific Coast Trail was a daily daunting challenge. I was forced to change my prospective on adventure. I created new quests for myself such as running a half marathon and traveling to states I have never seen. I learned while doing this that adventure can look a lot of different ways.
As we approach Active Aging Week, I would love for each person reading this to stop for a second and think of what your own adventures may be. What are the things you would like to accomplish but find challenging? Is your next adventure completing a 5K race? Is it recovering from an injury and coming back to exercise? Or is it going on a trip with your family? Recognize those things you may find challenging and make them happen! Remember not to discount your adventures. Every single person is tested in a different way. It is important that you not glorify another’s adventures over your own. Active Aging Week is the perfect time to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself with new goals and experiences. Learning how to remain active and healthy throughout your lifespan may provide you with the tools you need to face your next adventure.
Not all adventures present themselves as an opportunity to jump from an airplane. Some adventures are disguised as a new fitness goal or a walk around the neighborhood. Each individual must decide what his or her own adventurous life will look like, and that is the beauty of the whole thing. You have the freedom to make your life as challenging and exciting as possible. What is keeping you from Living Your Adventure?
Brittany Bishop, Wellness Coordinator at Blakeford, develops and implements activities for the residents in all areas of Wellness, focusing specifically on physical health. She instructs exercise classes in all three sections of Blakeford: Independent Living, Burton Court, and Woodcrest. Brittany also works with team members, developing HIPs and individualized exercise prescriptions for them.
Brittany hosts a monthly series of videos focusing on wellness tips for seniors. To view the series, visit our YouTube channel.