Age is nothing but a number!


Unlike humans, the mountains in Switzerland appear to be timeless. Contemplating their ragged peaks while working up a sweat on the treadmill in the fitness center, my attention was momentarily distracted when I heard a woman on a BBC television program say, "Age is nothing but a number."

With my 49th birthday rapidly approaching, Ernestine Shepherd, the world's oldest female body builder, seemed to be speaking directly to me. How did she know that I've been using age and Paris as convenient excuses for my rapidly expanding waistline and thighs?


Still not convinced that age is nothing but a number? Take a look at this video of 82 year old Johanna Quaas on the parallel bars. The upper body strength of the world's oldest gymnast amazed me when I first saw a clip of her on The Colbert Report in March.


It's time to get moving! I wonder if lifting wheels of Gruyere cheese and bars of chocolate during the cheese and chocolate tours that I'm going on today qualifies as exercise.

A double rainbow appeared after the storm yesterday evening.
According to my calculations, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is in one of the Swiss banks in Montreux.

Comments

  1. You are in a fairy tale--86 year old gymnast, double rainbows, picturesque landscapes, cheese and chocolate tours. Soon you'll be reporting that you were awakened from the tale by a prince with an accent wearing lederhosen and hiking socks.

    Or whale shorts.

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    1. A fairytale, indeed! The only problem is that my prince was wearing a suit and tie and not lederhosen or whale (?) shorts the entire time that we were in Montreux. ;)

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  2. That is funny... I wrote about running to fight my aging waistline only yesterday. Let me know if you ever want to join me in the ultimate act of sadism!

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    1. Thanks for the invite. Your post on running in Paris, Versailles and Deauville really inspired me...until I came to my senses and remembered that it really is the ultimate act of sadism!

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  3. Approaching how rapidly? Let us know when to say Happy Birthday!

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    1. The strange thing about birthdays is that the speed with which they approach keeps accelerating! I don't usually make a big fuss about my birthday but I may mention it this year because we're also celebrating with my father-in-law, whose birthday is the day before mine.

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  4. Your post inspired me to look up how old the Alps really are - which you may...or may not be interested in, but I'm going to write it here anyways (if only to make you feel much younger!)!

    It seems as if they began to form in the Late Cretaceous (99.6-65.5 Million years ago) when the Apulian plate began to subduct under the Eurasian plate closing up the then Tethys Sea. The main orogenic or "mountain building" event took place in the Paleocene to Eocene (65-33 Million years ago) and coolest of all - the alps are still growing! The rate of erosion is pretty high though which pretty much counters the effects of uplift.

    AND if that's not enough to make you feel young, the Alps are only babies compared to the Appalachians which are about 480 million years old. When they were "younger" they are thought to have been as big as the alps but have slowly eroded through all those years...

    Can you tell I'm jealous that you're in Montreux ;)

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    1. Compared with the Alps, I'm just a baby! Your comment is just one more reason why I'm pleased to have a daughter who's a geologist. Imagine how depressing it would be if you were a biologist who studied the lifespan of flies - I would feel really old by comparison!

      I wish that you could have been with us in Montreux. As always, it was good to see all of the places that we went to regularly with Philippe and you. It brought back good memories of your childhood and high school years.

      Interesting to know that the Alps are still growing. I would have thought that they were in the erosion-only stage.

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  5. wow awesome rainbow photos......and inspiring commentary of fitness at any age. Now, pardon me while I log off in search of Doritos and dip!

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    1. Ha! Doritos and dip sounds delicious! Was it guacamole or salsa?! And speaking of Doritos, I was surprised to see that they sell them in Switzerland now. That's new!

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  6. Stunning photos! And,yes, there is a period when waistlines have a dreadful habit of expanding all by themselves!

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    1. It's good to know that it's not only me. Reading your post on weight loss helped me realize that it's something that most of us are going to have to deal with once we reach a certain age.

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  7. Yeah, nothing but a number, that's what I'm trying to make my body believe but the stubborn s.o.b. doesn't seem to get it! LOL
    I just turned 53 and the changes have been too much, sometimes I feel like its not me anymore...oh well, I don't mean to get anyone down, I also have myself to blame, I haven't been the healthiest person either and sooner or later everything you do in your younger years comes back to bite you in the butt.

    Beautiful rainbow shots!

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    1. Yeah! It's definitely more difficult to convince my body to get moving now than it was when I was younger. That's when I start hearing the little voice in my mind saying that it's 48 and not 28 anymore.

      Congratulations on your recent birthday. I really admire your determination to make your dream of living in Paris a reality!

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  8. Did she say she started body building at 71? there is hope for me yet!

    Try as I may I cannot forget the number of my age, which seems to get higher faster and I got quite depressed when I turned 60. Realising there was more time behind me than in front of me. Yet I am happier and healthier that I have ever been.

    Like Sylvia, I see pictures of myself, particularly videos, that I don't recognise the older woman there.

    All goes to reinforce the philosophy of make the most of every day. Enjoy your cheese and choclate!

    Stunning pictures Mary Kay.

    Love Denise

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    1. Denise, I regret not mentioning in the body of the post that YOU are a huge inspiration for me. Reading your blog and getting to know you during your visits to Paris makes me realize that you are not someone who shies away from challenges. You meet them head on. I don't know what you were like when you were younger, but I certainly like the woman you are today. You're honest, open to change and have a good sense of humor. You're a real role model for me because you make being in your 60s look pretty darn good!

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  9. Happy birthday in advance. I hit 50 in August which is a bit scary but I'm still in good nick - well, reasonably! My waistline threatens to do its own thing from time to time but I'm watchin it. I'm not ready for middle age spread yet! I'm lucky in that our lives are very outdoor ones with a lot of physical exercise round the farm. OK, I sometimes go to bed at the same time as my ten year old through sheer exhaustion but well, that's just all the fresh air. It's nothing to do with how old I am, honest!

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    1. You live a good life, Steph! Many are the times that I feel like a real sloth after reading your blog. There's nothing like hard work, a bit of sweat and fresh air to keep a body healthy and strong.

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  10. Oh, I totally agree! As the wise Aaliyah once said "Age ain't nothin' but a number!".

    I say celebrate each year with style (which you are clearly doing)!

    A pet peeve of mine is when girls my age complain about being old, and wanting to celebrate their 29th birthday over and over again to avoid 30. 30 is fantastic! So far it has been really good to me so I can only imagine what my 40s will be like. If it's anything like your experiences, I can't wait!

    Happy (early) Birthday MK!!!!!!!!! XOXOXO!

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    1. Thanks, Mlle Ella!

      I'm glad that 30 is turning out to be such a fantastic year for you. You deserve it!

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  11. You've got to meet my new bestfriend... Roberta
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYDI2jP_88I&feature=share&noredirect=1

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    1. Roberta's quite a character - red underwear, tattoos, Marcel and all! Thanks for introducing her to me!

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  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO7iCbtlcIc

    This is for you, Mary Kay and all the other women who doubt the power of exercise!!!!!

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    1. Hahaha Nancy, I saw this video a while ago, it's great!
      Talk about motivation!

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    2. That's a fantastic commercial. I've never seen women pedal so fast! Thanks for sharing!

      Here's a clickable link for the video.

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  13. Beautiful photos Mary Kay.

    Since passing the '50' milestone, I subscribe to the adage: "If old age is catching up, walk faster!" I think there is a little bit in this for everyone.

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    1. Good adage! I also really liked your earlier comment about wearing something colorful so as not to become invisible, which is something that I thought only happened to women.

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