Before spending three weeks traveling around Italy with my parents, I read somewhere online that the key aspect of sightseeing with seniors is adjusting the itinerary so that they are not exceedingly stressed physically. I can now confidently say that this goes beyond taking an elevator instead of stairs or a taxi instead of public transport whenever there is a choice. Accommodating the entire family, from five- to seventy-years old meant taking things much slower and doing fewer activities in any given day than I could imagine, even though I thought I was making adjustments for age in my mind.
Fitness is a huge part of it, and here our daughter had a clear edge in terms of physical toughness and mental resilience. Every day, I am amazed by her cheerful attitude at whatever the traveling lifestyle throws at her – different weather, food, entertainment, etc. Sadly, my parents can no longer keep up with our and their own image of themselves and what they can physically accomplish in any given day.
Throughout the trip, I saw images of divinity represented by human body by the Renessanse masters. They were definitely onto an important message – our body, this machine, as Dorian Yates puts it, is the only vehicle we have to go through life. If it doesn’t function properly, the best intentions and aspirations don’t mean much.
Thankfully, my parents are doing alright for they age in terms of health. But when the world is so big, and there is so much do and see alongside one’s children and grandchildren, ‘alright’ seems not to be enough. So I will remember this next time a need a bit of motivation to exercise, the all-important ‘Why?’ question – I hope to be able to do more with my daughter as I get older. I also hope that I will be content with what my abilities will be in reality. In this, both my daughter and my parents are great examples.