Age & Attitude on the ski slopes
In my ideal world everyone would be respected for who they are and age would be an irrelevance.
Last week I went skiing for three days in Serre Chevalier, which is a fabulous ski station that lies in the South Alps in France, somewhere I have been visiting on a regular basis since I learnt to ski at the age of 34. It’s large and links the town of Briancon with three nearby villages its diversity and charm makes it an absolute must for any skier.
This time was special, as we were liaising with two groups of close friends who coincidently were holidaying at the same time. Our dear Dutch friends, a family including 22 to 24 year olds and another group of good friends who have been meeting for over half a century at the same spot, making them now with the average age of 80.
I am not the worst skier in the world, or neither the best, but I can hold my own on the black slopes and an occasional dip into the off-piste nether regions, however to keep up with these supersonic, upper age limit gang wear’s me out, and at the same time naturally inspires me. My husband skied with them when he was a teenager, when taken by his father on a regular basis, he then remained faithful to their annual meet-up even after his father stopped due to bad eyesight and his eventual demise.
Our young friends are eager to meet the other side of the age track and there is an air of disbelief on how eighty year olds might grapple down the slopes, presumably with difficulty. I’m laughing knowingly to myself and indeed the day after, we quickly join ranks except the ranking dissolves, as the speedy eighties dance down the mountain, taking a diversion off piste, with youthfulness trying to follow without taking a tumble, but they do!
There is something about the equality a ski suit and goggles can bring, I can bet your bottom dollar that no one, when a speedy skier shoots by, thinks that it could remotely be an eighty year old. Our misconception of what age should looks like, feels like and be, is doing nobody any good at all. Groups and exercise whether it is skiing, walking, cycling or similar is not only healthy, but connecting. Social & physical stimulation rather than total isolation gives a sense of purpose, something to look forward to, rather than sinking into the armchair of old age, which appears to be expected and promoted.
The twenty somethings maybe learnt a lesson for life and I don’t mean about respect, no I mean that at any age, if you are fit and healthy and have attitude, you can do whatever you are capable of doing.
Age need not divide anyone on the ski slope or anywhere else, only attitude.