I walk and skip and hop.
I twist and bend and squat.
I bear walk, cobra and crawl.
I handstand on the wall. (Well, I try)
No, that’s not Dr. Seuss. That’s me: Grandpa! I’m 61 years old and I move in different ways. Ways that make my wife say, “Don’t hurt yourself” and my son say, “You’re an old guy, now, pop.” I move in ways that make my grandson say, “You, gan-pa!”
I’m a grandpa who moves and
I want to encourage other “grandpas” to move, too.
I move because I want to be able to keep moving: for me, for my family and, maybe most of all, for that little guy in the picture. (He’s almost two now, so he really moves!) I move so I can pick up my grandson and jump with him, and crawl with him, and chase him around. I move so I can carry the innumerable Christmas tubs up from the basement in the winter and stand on the deck rail to hook the big hanging plants up on the overhead beam in the summer (“Don’t hurt yourself!”).
I’m not wicked good at any of this. I’m not particularly strong. I’ve never been able to do a bunch of pushups. I’ve never run a marathon, or even a 5K race for that matter. Heck, I grew up in Massachusetts twenty minutes from the ocean and can’t even swim! I was a very overweight, inactive kid, almost always picked last in schoolyard games. I became a skinny, weak teenager and then an extremely dad-bod adult. There might be 61-year-old triathletes, powerlifters and gymnasts; that’s not me. Still, I move.
Now, there IS a big reveal about me: I practiced and taught Tae Kwon Do for nearly 27 years, up until age 60. When I was 33, that big guy in the picture got me into classes along with him, a four-year-old at the time. Starting Taekwondo had not been in the plan; I HAD to start so that HE could start. At that point in my life, I was at the heaviest weight and in the worst shape I’d ever been, not that I’d ever been in any kind of shape, except maybe more vertical than horizontal.
I never stopped practicing Tae Kwon Do after that for the next 27 years, and I tested for (and earned) my fifth degree black belt at age 50. I’ve played with hundreds of kids, teens, adults and senior citizens. I’ve helped people go from not moving at all to doing things they never thought they would, at age 6 and age 66, just like I did.
I started this blog so that I can share a little bit about the experience of being a grandpa who moves: the motivations, the joys, the challenges; the activities and resources I find helpful; insights, lessons learned and lessons not learned. I also hope to integrate my overall experience of being a grandpa, so that this about about all of the “more” of life beyond our physical movement.
What I most hope is that we hear from each other. I hope for a bit of community, not just me talking about me. Please comment to share your reactions and your own experiences. I’d also like to feature some other grandpas and grandmas.
If you are a grandpa and DON’T really move, or don’t move much anymore, I hope this site moves you to begin doing so, as you are able.
I have found that aging and being active while aging is an exploration, a journey. Any journey happens one step at a time, beginning with the first one, and then all he rest, over all terrain. We’ll even let Yankees fans come along; grandpas (and grandmas) need all of the camaraderie we can get. 😉