"I have a promise with a younger friend to go backpacking when I turn 90. That means I have to stay in shape and keep hiking until I turn 90."
What a full life this remarkable woman has led. She is my age and I note what she says here: "that there’s no research on women over 75. I still feel like I have a life ahead of me, but society doesn’t see it that way." Society has to change to take account of the many people who are living longer lives by taking control of their ageing process. We are a growing demographic.
What an inspiration and lovely woman. I just began again my walking commitment for the new year...and Dami's story has given more a good, swift kick in the butt. Wonderful piece for the new year.
I like so much that Dami wants to be remembered for being kind. I wish more felt that way.
Inspired. We are surrounded as we age past sixty or seventy by messages telling us we can’t. I am reminded that I can and I fucking will.
this is so inspiring and actually helps me see the cracks in our society, especially as we age. Being invisible at any age by societal standards is tragic but the real fact is mortality figures in the US show late 70's is curtains. I am 64 years old and feel more vital overall than when I was 35. She has paved a path I definitely want to take, and will listen to the stories of women and men taking her path over the predictions of society. Since I spend time caregiving for my elderly mom, that is my "job", but otherwise, my VO2max number is rising and my goal in 2024 is to get re-certified in teaching yoga (for vulnerable populations) and to be able to do the "wheel" backbend shape soon. I also want to spend more time reading and writing and doing "firsts".
Just ordered the Walking Gone Wild book! Love this stack!!! Thanks again Sari 🌲 What a great way to start a new year: a new book!
At the new 2024 moment, the pervasive seasonal sheep-herding into ‘resolutions’ makes me itch; haven’t I done a lot right to even survive this dog of a year? (Feels like seven years…) Just going to clock that for now.
But with a big travel goal on the rapidly nearing horizon, I can use some inspiration and role models to get into the shape I will need to be in. Reinforcements required!
Many years ago I was literally on a part of the NW Pacific Crest Trail during a time of great change and decisions to be made about my life’s direction. I had no sane vigorous senior women in my life to set an example of where I wanted to go. Was it even possible?
Then I saw a lone hiker come up the trail, she was easily 40 years my elder. She was well-equipped but not ostentatiously, vigorous but not rushed, and completely at one in the alpine meadows but still friendly. Suddenly I knew. This was exactly it. And you know what? It’s still IT! It’s the essence of what makes me sob with joy every damn time I am up there! The extraneous things I was deliberating then (corporate job, reproduction? that relationship) have all melted away. The mountain remains.
I’m pretty sure she was real, but it’s possible that I was just given an apparition of my ANSWER.
I didn’t know any women like that then, but we’re all over now. And hoping to be a version of inspiration paying forward too.
I really get the whole idea of representation now. It’s getting better. ‘If you see it, you can be it.’
It occurs to me that this Substack group is the most significant and enriching reading of my entire last year. Kudos Sari. You’re awesome!
Thank you for introducing me to Dami!
Another fabulous inspiration! Thank you, Sari, for another portrait of a remarkable human being! I love everything she says.
I am finding these reads Sari are having a deep as impact on me as a human who is 67. Spring chickensville really, but a stage within the aging spectrum. I have never wanted to go back and be younger, learning and garnering even the speck of wisdom I have has been painful, and costly on self and others. What I am finding reading Oldster, and people like Dami's responses, I am finding I feel joy....real joy. There is so much that has changed, the world within and the world without, stuff the body won't do anymore.............but the story is not over yet, there is, and there can be more. I do so feel fully alive even after reflecting on and dealing with perceived failures as a human or a parent........the story ain't over. And in reading these reads and responses...........I am so not alone in the stuff I wrestle with amidst the heart wide open full throttle dreams that fill my being. Thank you Sari, and thank you Dami for your part in that. I do sit around reading and thinking to much, but the good thing is it leads to action and creativity in the real world, movement and making............like the rustling poplar leaves out my window shining in the midday sunlight..............i too will go and join the fun being me outside in a real world. Getting off social media has made a huge as difference for me, and reading Oldster............turning me into an OldStar. :-)
I totally enjoyed this! As a 61-year-old avid hiker, I am section hiking the Arizona Trail with my husband — and it's my goal as I age now to get more and more physical with my life after decades working full-time at a computer. It's a fun change of pace to read about active, outdoorsy Oldsters here who are pushing their physical boundaries. This was really inspiring to me, and I'm checking out Dami's books right now. Heck, I'd be super pumped to be able to backpack at age 62!
What an inspiring life!
What an inspiring woman! I am going to read her books and model some of her pursuits. I turned 70 this year and it feels like a big one. It’s so strange to feel so energetic and capable when the culture (and many peers) reflect the opposite. I refuse to apologize for my age or anything else at this point in my life. I am writing an orchestral piece right now entitled “A Woman, Without Apology.”
Dami and Sari. Thank you both for this amazing story. Dami, I’m 71 and relate to so much of what you’ve written. The invisibility issue can be hard to take for sure. At this point I tell myself, well damn, you don’t know what you’re missing!
I love your sense of adventure and determination to take care of your body so you can continue to live life to the fullest. And Sari, thanks once again for such powerful content.
I feel like I say this every time--but seriously, this is one of my favorites! Especially given the focus on "physicality" and movement--It's something I believe in wholeheartedly-- I personally subscribe to the notion of "Reverse Aging" (Dr. Hyman, Peter Attia and others)--which is not to say that your body doesn't change--but that there are ways to mitigate the impact. I plan on hiking the 500 mile Camino de Santiago (a second time) for my 70th birthday--which as Dami says above with her ambitious 90th goal--that means "I have to stay in shape and keep. hiking until I turn 90." I'm signing up for the newsletter! Thank you so much for this!
What a beautiful life, I am inspired to keep trekking too :)
No research on women over 75… I’m very curious what ailment this refers to. Obviously, I respect her privacy but it’s upsetting that the medical community ignores aging women on so many levels.
Meanwhile, I’m inspired to hike more. 🥰❤️🙏