Seventy. I rolled the number around on my tongue a few times - it tasted a little strange. And then it occurred to me that instead of lying around pondering I needed to get up - get out of bed - and get into life. It suddenly seemed bizarre that we are expected to slow down as we age. Why would we do that when there are still so many things we want to enjoy? So instead of slowing down I decided to crank up my time machine and slide some more time into my days.
Getting up an hour earlier and not to falling into the trap of veging out in front of telly at night can easily score a minimum of 14 extra hours each week. Time to do things that we have never done before - and I have decided to have a new adventure every month.
My first adventure has been paddle boarding. If you have had a go then you will know that feeling of falling - into the water - and not just once. And then that feeling of accomplishment when you don't - well - perhaps for 15 minutes or so! If you haven't tried it then I encourage you to have a go - what better place to be than on the beach and in the water. Just hire a board with a friend - if you enjoy it then book a lesson.
Falling off a few times was great - reminded me of being a kid - of jumping off pontoons into the water - that momentary shock of the sudden chill of the sea, the salt in your mouth and the relief of coming back to the surface. With paddle boarding, as well as bringing back childhood memories, it is an opportunity to work on our balance - seems it sometimes deserts us just when we need it most. And of course there's the all-of-body physical workout from balancing, paddling, and the intermittent clambering back on to the board, unless you are blessed with better balance than I am.
So now I'm thinking about my next adventure - a bushwalking trip somewhere I have never been before, with a group of people who are much fitter than I am, so I will need to work on my fitness level or be left puffing on the first uphill climb.
I reckon that if new experiences are a little scary - if they take us out of our comfort zone - then that's what makes them adventures. It means that we are stretching our neural pathways - doing a bit of rewiring outside our well-worn tracks. Crossword puzzles and word games might be great for keeping our brains active but throwing in a comfort-zone challenge now and again, with all the planning and anticipation (and sometimes more than a little trepidation), and including something physical, is the stuff that memories are made of.