Greetings from the up side of 50! My 50th birthday was June 15th and I am happy to report that I have harped enough about ageism to all my friends that I only received positive, upbeat cards! I met a group of friends for a mountain horseback ride and then we all gathered at my place for a barbeque. As I looked around at my riding buddies it was neat to realize that I’m surrounded by so many great role models for aging. Bob will be 81 this year, Eldo is – I think 78, Grace and MaryJane are in there late 60′ s, and they are all living examples of staying engaged, active and vital. We ride together at least twice a week and those of us in our 50’s are the "pups" of the crowd. That day we came upon many trees fallen across the trails and Bob scouted around for other places to cross while Eldo, Kevin and I sawed trees and threw them off the trail. This little vignette is a terrific example of how self-efficacy and expectations impact experiences. It never would have occured to 81 year old Bob to defer that job to one of us "youngsters", and I’m glad that it never even occured to any of us to be concerned about him climbing over logs and rocks and hiking through underbrush straight up hill to find a new path (in case we couldn’t saw through).
I expect to keep riding with this group for a long time. My hero is the 102 year old woman on horseback on the front of Waneen Spirduso’s book Physical Dimensions of Aging. She was still riding regularly when the photo was taken. So, Giddeyup and Yee Haw! See you on the trails.