The 2018 Christmas blog contribution comes from John Higginson. John wrote to IMAS earlier this year asking what Mixed Ability activities were available for him and his wife after a period of inactivity. John chose not to take up full contact Mixed Ability rugby declaring that his age was a barrier, he has strong opinions about some of the other MA sports on offer too. Mr and Mrs Higginson were made welcome at Heaton Tennis and Squash Club in Bradford and are now valued members. John explains the journey to reactivation below.
I would just like to say a big thank you to all of you who have given me such encouragement to move forward with my tennis and racquet ball interests with IMAS. I couldn’t even spell ‘racquet ball’ before I arrived at Heaton Sports Club (probably still can’t!), and my wife and I can hardly wait to get involved again after our initial apprehensive steps a few months ago.
Who says 70 is old? But before I get carried away, I must repeat the fact that I twisted both knees during my tennis exertions at Heaton, and mid-November my GP suggested ‘8 to 10 weeks’ of gentle exercise before I can even think of picking up a racquet again. Actually, he advised ‘either yoga, Pilates or swimming’, any of which to me sound worse than a bout of haemorrhoids, so I’m sticking to walking and hope that by mid-January I’ll be able to start training in earnest for the Over-70s tournament in Hull in March.
There is an expectation that we geriatrics can keep fit and stick to our ‘5 a day’ i.e.
1) getting out of bed without falling down
2) indulging in challenging physical exercise i.e. ‘Up, down – Up, down… then the other eye-lid!
3) raging against the dying light instead of going to B & Q for a replacement bulb
4) consuming a subtle blend of yoghurt and Tippex without vomiting
5) eating bran flakes and realising you do live longer but accepting that you’ll spend the last fifteen years of your life on the toilet.
Of course, retaining a sense of humour helps.
The will to win may fade a little, but apparently it doesn’t die, and I’m looking forward to taking up competitive tennis, but this will probably have to be after I hit 71 on 11th January.
Thanks again for supplying the motivation for what I thought had faded forever….
With best wishes for Christmas and good health in 2019,
We hope that John and Barbara’s tale will motivate more people to make the journey from the couch to becoming a member of a club, a society, or joining a class or a team. With 2019 fast approaching IMAS will continue to ensure people of every ability and disability will have the opportunity to try many different activities including Yoga (but don’t tell John!).
In the meantime, the IMAS team would like to wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers.