Various things motivate me in the different areas of my life.  I’d like to share one of my motivations with you.

For the first few years of running my classes I taught in a room near a shopping mall, and I’d often get my groceries there after class and before going home.  I regularly saw two elderly ladies walk across the car park to the mall – they were obviously friends and lived nearby.   They both had curled grey hair, were always well groomed, and both looked to be in their 80s.  One was your ‘typical’ little old lady – slightly stooped and shuffling.  Her friend, on the other hand, was tall (nearly 6 foot), carried her head high, and walked with grace, and youth.  I always wondered about her.

Then, one day, I spotted her in the mall, on her own.  I ‘stalked’ her through the mall before finally picking up the courage to approach her.  I stepped up beside her as she looked through a shop window and said “Excuse me?  You’ll probably think I’m a bit strange, but I’d like to tell you that I admire your beautiful posture!”.  She laughed and her old face lit up with joy.  I went on to explain that I taught posture improvement nearby and that I’d seen her several times but it had taken me sometime to pick up the courage to approach and congratulate her.  She explained that as a girl in her early teens she had quickly surpassed the heights of all her family members, including her father, and anytime she’d dared to stoop, because she was certainly embarrassed by her height at that age, her father would loudly tell her to “stand up straight, girl!  Obviously, she did as she was told – I suspect she would have received a whipping had she not! – and much to her and her father’s credit, it stayed with her.

I want to be like her.  As I grow ancient (far beyond 80!) I will remain tall, confident and graceful.  I hope this true story will help motivate you, or help you to look for your own motivations for retaining or rediscovering your youth.

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