Each time we enter a new year and the number changes, I become all too aware of the passage of time. Here we are in 2017 already while I still remember the Y2K hubbub when the year changed from 1999 to 2000, and supposedly, all of the computers on earth were going to freak out and change the world back to 1900. Although I wasn’t really worried about a computer apocalypse occurring in the year 2000, I do have to confess that I did stockpile a few cases of water in my basement . . . just in case!
Well, even though the number of my years is creeping up there, I have been so mindful lately that age is just a number and that one’s state of mind is so much more important. I have always been impressed by all of the students here at Maria College who really cover a wide range of ages from the recent high school graduate of seventeen or eighteen to the returning adult student who is coming to pursue a college degree at the age of twenty-five or thirty-five or older.
I actually remember one summer English class I taught here at Maria College in which a wonderful friendship developed between a seventeen-year-old recent high school graduate who was getting a head start on college credits and a seventy-year-old Catholic priest who was studying for his own personal enrichment. Although the young man and the priest had such varied perspectives on issues we discussed in class, they enjoyed debating with each other and learning so much from each other.
Sometimes, I hear returning adult students say, “But I will be so much older when I finish my degree!” My reply is always the same, inspired by words of wisdom shared by Dear Abby: “You’re going to be older no matter what, so you may as well be older with the wonderful accomplishment of a college degree.”
Recently, through Facebook and Google, I have stumbled across two stories that powerfully illustrate the idea that age is just a number and not a limitation. First, there is the story of Robert Marchand from France who is 105 years old (!) and just broke a record for his age by bicycling 14 miles in 60 minutes on an indoor cycling track! Watch this video of his amazing story.
Then, there is Täo Porchon-Lynch, born in India but now living in New York, who at the age of 98 (!) teaches yoga! She even made an appearance in 2015 at the young age of 96 dancing on “America’s Got Talent.” Watch Ms. Porchon-Lynch in action by clicking here.
I am certainly inspired by these amazing people and hope you are too, so let’s all get out there and move!
Until next time . . .