Ester Marsh column: 50 and feeling fabulous

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2016

I have made it to the half-century mark and I’m embracing it. And in 54 days, I am hoping to start and finish my half Iron Man.

With most of my family being here from one week to three weeks, my preparation for this event has been a bit on the back burner but it was worth it. I am on a journey, not going for a win or an amazing performance. So far, it has been incredible.

I listen to my body where my workouts need to be. Can I do a bit more than planned or, most of the time, do I need to do less to stay healthy and injury free? Again, a very different angle than all of my other competitive days, but my body is loving it!

The pool especially helps me loosen up and I get such an awesome workout in the water. As we saw at the Olympics, the swimmers are in great shape with excellent bodies.

But it’s really not all about the bodies. As we age, gravity does show its face. I have a scar on my right leg where my skin split open when a heavy beam fell on it when I was about 7 years old. It was about 3 1/2 inches above my knee. After years of gravity, it is now two inches above my knee! I am embracing it — what else can you do? I am not going to have surgeries and/or “alterations” to try to stay young.

My mom and dad were here too — she is 82 and my dad will turn 80 in December. They both look great! And both are au naturel (French for natural state). I guess it helps to have them as great examples.

I see so many beautiful people of all different ages, sizes, colors and ethnicities. My goal is to be an example of health and happiness, be the best I can be but accept the age that I am. So far, none of my birthdays have bothered me a bit. I always say “it’s better to get older than six feet under.”

As I have mentioned in previous columns, many times your health is in your hands. Yes, there are many challenges people face where they have no control over what happens. What they do control is how they deal with it. My younger sister, now a 10-year breast cancer survivor, stepped up to her cancer with all that she had and beat it! There are so many wonderful examples out there of people who are not ready to die and are not scared to live, either.

Take care of your body, your family and friends. Do the work to get where you want to be, embrace life and live each day to the fullest. This way, there won’t be any regrets. Check out Frank Sinatra’s song “I did it my way,” one of my favorites! I guess I better start planning my big 60 birthday bash. I have 10 years to do it!

Ester H Marsh, associate executive director, JF Hurley Family YMCA