Last week, I started following Joan MacDonald (or @trainwithjoan) on Instagram.
Joan is 73 years old and, three years ago, she began a wellness journey, as she said, to finally begin “taking the best possible care” of herself.
Seeing Joan’s photos makes me smile because I get to see a woman in her 70s lift weights, flaunt a bikini, and leap through the air. In the popular imagination, these are not things reserved for septuagenarian women.
This morning, I taught a poolside, socially distanced yoga class to women from age 55 up, and what I see in Joan, I see in them: women determined to enjoy moving and living in their bodies, who are not afraid to try something new or try something old, this time in a new season in their lives. Women who show up with me each week to celebrate and laugh and explore new ways of seeing their bodies and seeing the world.
In class today, we did butterfly pose and felt our metaphorical wings; we moved our hands into Ganesh mudra, bringing our awareness to our personal power to walk through obstacles.
Continuing to discover ourselves, no matter our age, is freeing and natural.
I share Joan’s story not because she is extraordinary, but because her joy and freedom and choice to honor her body and being is a choice that belongs to all of us. As Joan said, “I am just an ordinary woman who,” at 70 years old, “allowed herself to finally start to grow again.”