Center Stage: Unleash your power in May

One day last week I was having lunch with a younger friend of mine. (One that years ago made reference to me as “mom”). In the past, I have had the pleasure of playing on his team on a volleyball league. At the time I felt like this couldn’t possibly be to his team’s advantage. With a little self-help lecture — and a few pre-game apologies — we began the quest.

I knew that my friend had a competitive nature. Yet, he constantly encouraged me. With high fives from the other team members, I played to the best of my abilities. In the end, we fused as a team and appreciated one another for the skills that each one of us demonstrated.

Ten years later or so he said to me, “You know I’m just not getting up there (jumping that is) like I used to.”

Most of us over the age of 50 that have played any sport, like me, should be giggling at this point, relating to this aging phenomenon. Hey, that’s what I was trying to tell him 10 years ago. He now references me as “sis,” supposing the age difference isn’t as huge as he may have felt in his younger years.

OK so this is the kicker — he’s still encouraging me to play! The difference now is he realizes there is a limitation. I play now on the leagues that suit my abilities or lack thereof.

The points to be made are the ones you already know — never stop moving and if you have stopped, find a suitable and safe way to get back moving.

So many sources are so available in Sheridan including the Sheridan Senior Center, Sheridan YMCA, Sheridan Recreation and Tongue River Valley Community Center in Dayton.

When I collaborate on activity ideas with coordinators from each of these organizations one of the first reminders I get is that we need to create a safe and age appropriate activity.

The second is costs. The named above are certainly willing to consider any finance difficulties without “pomp and circumstance.” Let’s also include the many privately owned businesses, gyms and proprietors that also exist in our community.

If you’re not into sports and it’s the cultural aspect you prefer, visit the library or call and talk to an advisor at Sheridan College for options. Sheridan has two live performance theaters, art opportunities, and a lively music community. And let’s support performances and sports in our schools.

Now that warmer weather is in the forecast, make the choice to get connected. Turn on the radio, read the newspaper, get on the computer, take a drive and read the marquees. Surprise someone by calling them to ask them to “get out of the house.”

Stop by Dairy Queen, Bliss or the Kendrick Park ice cream stand (which is open in the warmer summer months), take a cruise around Sheridan County and get reacquainted.
The Sheridan Senior Center, YMCA, Tongue River Valley Community Center, Rec District and one theater group have been collaborating to offer a series of “camps” (really more like workshops) for “campers” age 55 years and older to discover or re-discover their inner talents.

Consider joining us for an afternoon to explore theater improvisation, learn basic softball or basketball skills, or try your hand at an afternoon of painting. (Grandma Moses discovered her talent for painting when she was in her 70s).
The goal of activities planned for Older Americans Month is to introduce or reintroduce your “powerful” self to yourself. It’s in there! You know it is.

Guest columnist Jane Perkins is the Director of the Fun Department at the Sheridan Senior Center. Center Stage is written by friends of the Senior Center for the Sheridan Community. It is a collection of insights and stories related to living well at every age.


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