To look good and feel good is work. To look great and feel great is a full-time job. There is no cheating! It’s daily! Minute-by-minute, second-by-second. This is the process I love and love to work at. The reward is liking myself and living a creative life. I will turn 90 on April 4 and hope I can still create this in 10 years time.
Life in itself is a challenge and you can either, accept it and take action, or you can sit and do nothing. My advice is there is only one winner: accept the challenge, take action and get on with your life no matter what age.
I’m not aware of being 90. I’m aware of feeling physically as good as I have ever felt and mentally even better. I practice dance and workout every day. This body has to know who’s boss and being 90 and feeling 20 is as good as it gets! People ask me all the time what’s my secret. I tell them move, learn and listen.
The reward is a healthy body and mind. I’m totally selfish in that me and my body and mind are one. We are partners and we work play and live as one. So if that is so, we can’t sit around and think about tomorrow. Our body and mind has to be trained from the first breath, otherwise it’s down hill all the way. Numbers and dwelling on age is a trap. There is no age, it’s living each moment to it’s fullest.
I started my own fashion label at 50, became a musician and learned Italian and French in my 70s, took tango and trapeze at 80 and walked into my first yoga class at 85. So, if you think you’re old, think again!
What inspires me is the process of learning. Inspiration creates creativity and creativity creates a better life. I like experimenting and have no fear of trying something new, so flying high on a trapeze at 80 was never a question. Becoming a musician late in my life was not accidental. It was meant to be.
I love to move and exercise, so my work out regime consists of yoga, tango, jump rope, hiking with my poodle Nicko and playing tennis.
Yoga gives you a life you didn’t have yesterday. It’s a wakeup call to every cell in your body. Every muscle sits up and pays attention. I live to do yoga and I do it to live.
Do every pose as good as you can and then do it a little better. I have arthritis in my spine, but I can do a full back bend, headstand and splits.
Dance has always been my passion. I had my first ballet lesson at 14 and knew then dance would be my life. Four years later I was performing in a night club in Boston and soon after that I was performing on Broadway.
Bloomer Girl, Oklahoma, Brigadoon, High Button Shoes and Kismet. I then went to Rio de Janeiro with the Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo. So from age 18, work was constant and life was and is really good. I’m still working creatively and love what I’m doing and have no intention of changing direction.
I have realized, that anything is possible, if you like who you are and what you do. Yes, anything is possible and even probable.
If you don’t train the body every day it withers. If you don’t train the mind everyday, you lose it. That’s why I learned Italian and French, as learning a language is a great mental exercise. I then challenged myself to write music. I wrote the music and lyrics for my first song “Free Fall,” which was inspired by flying on the trapeze. A CD followed with 12 songs:Scenes Of Passion. And then six tangos for Tango Insomnia. I now write short songs daily about things I do.
Tango dancing is a fantastic exercise, as it’s physical and emotional. It’s the only time, when I turn off my mind and just dance, so I am in the moment. To look effortless in dance is sheer beauty. That’s my desire. I’m still performing, as it keeps my body in tune, is good for my memory and it makes my life a joy. A triple Boleo in the air would make my journey complete. Marcos (my teacher/dance partner) says it will take two years. I tell him, I have time!
I admit, I’m driven but I’m driven by desire and that’s the formula. Desire is so powerful, like you are propelled as if from a canon. Desire to me is the driving force, but action is the result.
Working and accomplishing something mental and physical makes my day worth living and suddenly there is a break through, another step on the ladder. I don’t give up. The sun and moon are there for everyone. The journey is worth it! This trip has been good to me and I wouldn’t trade it for all the stars in the universe.
There is a way to beat the clock. Stay fit and enjoy the journey. Accept the challenge and go for it!
That’s what I did!
This essay originally ran on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phyllis-sues-/aging-gracefully-phyllis-sues-yoga-tango_b_2878155.html