Health With a Capital H

Aging & Health: A Great Adventure

May 13, 2011

By Meredith Pond, Writer

Meredith patting a whale in the ocean

“Aging is not for the faint hearted,” my grandmother told me as she took cautious steps from the car to the back door of our house. I was 6 then, and she had just turned 60.

Things have changed. People say 60 is the new 40. To support that claim, this year’s National Women’s Health Week spotlights energetic older women who participate in 5K and 10K races, triathalons, and marathons. There are women who speed walk, cycle with their children, and paddle the Tidal Basin.

Some of these women work right here at IQ Solutions. Our firm encourages good health with the “Wellness for Life” program and offers energy-affirming workshops, classes, and health fairs during the year.

This spring, employees began their IQ “fitness passports” to log in daily exercise and other strength-building activities. To match the White House’s health and fitness challenge, IQ is on the move.

Resources about health and well-being for older adults are included on Web sites in both the public and private arenas. For example the Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers statistical data and “Key Indicators of Well-Being.”

A Whale of a Tale

To debunk the aging myth I inherited from my grandma, when I turned 60, that winter I booked a flight to Baja’s Pacific coast in Mexico to visit the gray whales in San Ignacio Lagoon where they birth their babies.

Getting to the lagoon is a challenge in itself. After snaking through the mountains in a van (okay, yes, it was air-conditioned), we crossed miles of desert on a dirt-packed bumpy road to our destination “whale camp.”

Storing our duffle bags under the assigned bunks, four of us rode out in a “panga” (a small fishing boat) to the middle of the lagoon to wait for a visit from a “friendly” whale.

We got lucky. A mother whale, much longer and bigger than our boat, sprayed us all with a blast of sea water and “introduced” her baby. According to our guide, that “little” whale weighed in at more than half a ton. Reaching over the side, I scratched the baby’s head (whales like this).

Maybe I almost fell in. Maybe I never wanted to leave. But here I am back at my desk sharing this whale of a tale, and wishing you a happy National Women’s Health Week. Good health is the goal at any age, and it’s the journeys we take in life that make all the difference.

Comments

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Hello...

Meredith--This is quite an inspiring experience and perspective that you share. Thank you for honoring us with your story!

This web site really has all the information I needed about this subject and didn't know who to ask.

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