My darling mum walks for a living. That’s not quite right. She is retired. What my mum does, is walk for her life. That’s right. My mum, 75 years on this planet, could easily have walked its circumference, were it not for all the oceans, mountains and inclement weather, just in the last 10 years alone. Not the fastest way to travel the globe, so she hasn’t bothered. What she has done instead is furrowed some deep grooves into her neighbourhood streets as she makes her way to and from her house on her twice daily walks with the dogs (let’s call them her lifesavers). Council doesn’t really have to worry too much though about the wear and tear on the footpaths, she really hasn’t made any mark, other than that of clearing her path of all rubbish. So not only is she in a great state of physical well being, the streets are cleaner. My mum.
If I have given you the impression that my mum simply walks around with her dogs, picking up rubbish, then I have painted an incomplete picture and there are a few other observations I need to share. Firstly, she always has a stern look on her face. Actually, she looks pretty cross and kind of like she has something she wants to say but is too annoyed to say it. Regardless, she is beautiful to watch. I guess it’s because she’s my mum and she is alive and kicking. She also happens to be the most elegant and poised woman I have ever known. If I compared her to Grace Kelly, that would be a complement to Grace Kelly. Do you see what I’m saying?
I think the second thing to note about my dear mum is that she seems to be moving with great purpose and therefore at a pace more decently described as slower than fast but faster than brisk. It’s as though she has a dinner date with Barack and Michelle Obama she needs to get ready for but has to walk the dogs first. It’s definitely dogged determination.
I’ve asked my mum why she takes her walking so seriously. She gives two reasons.
“Because I eat too much and the dogs need the exercise.”
Fair enough, I think. If everyone had my mum’s attitude, I think we’d all be better off and the dogs of the world would all get the exercise and play they crave.
So when my mum’s not putting the dogs through their paces, picking up other peoples’ rubbish or getting ready for dinners at the Whitehouse, and being the grandmother with the mostest, she’s playing Bridge.
As a Bridge Ignoramus, I profess to knowing nothing more about Bridge than the following;
-It’s a card game.
-Old people play it and would play it all the time if they had no other responsibilities like dogs or grandchildren.
-For a game where you’re not supposed to chit chat it’s really a very social, friendly game. My mum’s always fishing out her best pearls for some Congress or friendly afternoon bridge thing.
And that’s about it.
So I asked my mum one day, “What is it that you think about on all your walks?”
“What? The gossip and the glory?”
“No. I think about how I’m going to play and I try and go through the different hands and bids in my head.”
I have no idea what she’s talking about but it sounds like she’s spot on jogging her memory as she’s walking. She is doing pretty much what Jog Your Memory is all about. The walking seems to set off a spark plug that ignites my mum’s brain as she muses over her theoretical Bridge moves. And when it comes to Bridge, she is definitely no dummy. Unless she has to be.
And that, my friends is the whole point of this here web log. My mum is the pin up granny for Jog Your Memory. She’s healthy of body and sharp of mind, with a deep-seated belief that if “you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” that she practices daily. No science required. My mum’s body and brain talk to each other and she listens-in getting the message that she needs to think and move and move and think. The dogs, her heart and her various Bridge partners thank her for it.
My mum exercises routinely (gently by the standards of an ultra runner, vigorously by the standards of a couch potato) and regularly employs her grey matter in playing tricky card games. She also socialises like a celebrity. Now I’m no neuroscientist, neurologist or psychologist (I wish I was), but I think my mum is living proof of the benefits of physical exercise on maintaining a healthy mental state. Yes, she may sometimes walk around with her glasses on her head looking for her glasses and she may occasionally put the milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge but overall she’s the picture of health and sanity.
So here’s to my, mum! May she always eat however much she likes, never stop moving, and keep kicking Bridge ass. Please may she keep on walking the dogs as if her life depends on it, because I believe it does. I know that the day she stops walking is the day that I start worrying. So, go Mamma go!
by Cat from Jog Your Memory