I just returned from the annual Spring Frenzy festivities at Lake Havasu City, Arizona’s Parks and Recreation Center. We spent a week of nonstop fun and learning. Nine years ago this event started with a handful of classes and activities, and has grown to entertain close to a thousand joyous, enthusiastic participants celebrating health and fitness.
Throughout the week, classes are offered in everything you can imagine, from kayaking and outrigger canoes to computer skills, flower arranging, skin and hair care, health screening, and even a mini-Olympics and picnic. What fun it is to participate in the egg toss and balloon relay in the warm welcome weather of Arizona, especially for those who have fled their homes in Michigan and Maine.
The aquatic classes are the centerpieces of the activities. Not only the regular staff of water exercise instructors gives a variety of classes, but also four women instructors from South Korea came to share their teaching skills and unique style. We had great fun trying to follow their dancing routines, as their English was minimal, and they shared the confusion when it came to our presentations.
The participants who attend Spring Frenzy are all over 50, and many are well into their 80’s. A few years doesn’t slow them down. In my Functional Fitness testing session, I was thrilled to have five people over 80, who proceeded to score better than many of those with fewer years and experience. One woman, who wrote her age as 85, could easily reach past her toes, did 25 squats in one minute, 40 biceps curls, and balanced on one foot for 2 minutes. I asked her what the secret to her extraordinary energy and enthusiasm was. “Just keep moving,” she said. A lesson for us all.
When you feel that you are not up for today’s walk or the afternoon strength training, or want to put off stretching to crash on the couch and watch TV, remember the secret to enjoying more years of high energy and strength- movement. Get up and get moving. Yes, I mean right now. Don’t go through life sitting down, get up and go after it. Use every minute you can to stretch, bend, move and breathe. You deserve many years of superior fitness and strength, but you’ve got to claim it, one step at a time, one pushup at a time, and one toe touch at a time.