Column: Don’t let age be a barrier to enjoying new experiences

Bottle Blondes.
Bottle Blondes.

By The Bottle Blondes - Chrissy Barker and Julie Hampshire

At the half century mark you’d think that a pair of self-assured, experienced lasses like us would have the sense to be content with what we’ve achieved so far and enjoy taking the time and space to smell the roses, maybe to slow down a bit, not wind down but start to enjoy a more calm approach to life.

Wrong! Between us, over the last couple years we’ve done quite the opposite. We’ve learned to ride a bike - and fall off it too, roller skate, swim underwater, walk on fire - that was a good one, drive a bus, and we’ve both embarked on extreme career changes and funked up our images - hence the bottle blondes.

Pensioner Ray Matthews.

Pensioner Ray Matthews.

Now it’s not been easy, the reasons we had never done these things before was because of fear failure, what other people might say or a bad experience that put us off.

But what we each came to realise was it was exactly those fears that was stopping us from doing something fun, to join in with friends and family, give us confidence, open new doors of opportunity and just generally make us feel good.

That it is our age and experience of what we know now that we didn’t know before – when we were young – is that most of our fears are actually daft and imagined. They are made up by and planted by others to maintain a certain amount of order.

It’s true you know youth is wasted on the young. What about Ray Matthews, the guy who ran 75 marathons in 75 days to celebrate his 75th birthday.

He set a fundraising target of £75, 000 for an additional needs school. Even though a certain media page thought that it wasn’t possible.

But good old Ray proved them wrong. Now obviously we’re not suggesting that you all go out and run a marathon but hey if the thought of doing one, or even more, grabs you, then we will be stood on the side line cheering you on. Notice that we didn’t say that we’ll be running along by your side.

Classes are full of the more ‘mature‘ student as more middle aged plus people are enrolling for courses. Some are even signing up at university and walking away with a smiley sticker. Only joking, with degrees and good on them. As we get older we realise that life’s too short. Who really wants to sit back letting our bottoms mould around the seat of an armchair and grow old. Life is for living, so go out, yes right now and learn something new.

Okay, it doesn’t have to be something as physical as running or roller-skating or even fire walking, but so long as it is learning something new.

Because old dogs can be taught new tricks.