Raphael and I went down to Florida for a couple of days to celebrate my good friend’s son’s wedding.  It was the first time since we’ve had kids (so more than 14 years) that we’ve had a get-away.  It was amazing – I hope to write about it another time.  Today I wanted to share with you a little lesson that I learned from Anniko – Raphael’s 93-year old great aunt.  We went to visit Anniko in Boca Raton and spent a couple of hours chatting with Anniko.

Anniko lives in a beautiful gated community on a golf course in a two-storey condo building.  Those who live on the second storey must go up and down the stairs every time they leave their condo.  There are no elevators – after all it’s just a two-storey building.

In my wonderful conversation with Anniko I asked her how she transported her groceries up to her condo.  I was thinking, she’s 93.  It must be difficult shlepping stuff up those stairs. She looked at me incredulously. “How do you think I get my groceries up those stairs?  I carry them myself!”, she responded.  “Well isn’t that hard for you?”, I asked.

And here’s what she told me:
She could have moved to a main floor apartment many times, but she chose to stay here.  She believes it’s because she lives on the second floor that she can easily go up and down the stairs several times per day.  If she had moved to a first floor apartment, she is sure that she could not do stairs so easily any more.

She understood that by having the regular movement of going up and down the stairs several times a day she was enabling herself continue to be mobile and agile.  Wow! I loved hearing this from Anniko – that basically by moving her body, she was prolonging her youthfulness!

When you and I are faced with movement choices, what do we choose?

Do you drive to the local market to pick up a few quick groceries, or do you walk there?

Do you circle around the parking lot until you find the closest parking spot or do you park farther away, allowing a little more movement into your day?

Do you drive to the library, or do you ride your bike?

I learned from Anniko that having regular movement in my day is one of the keys to aging gracefully. Thank you Anniko!


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