I’m always on the lookout for people who are doing their BEST ThirdThird. I am drawn to people who are doing what they want to do, choosing intentionally how to spend their years.
Dave and I were recently camping in the mountains of Colorado. He was doing what he loves to do…. run.
This time, he ran in a 50-mile ultra-marathon, a trail run traversing rocky trails with a 3,000 foot elevation change. His BEST ThirdThird definitely involves running. Acclimating to the altitude had him out there for 2+ weeks prior to the race, I came in for day of and day after the race.
Part of my BEST ThirdThird involves supporting Dave’s keen interest in pushing himself physically as a runner. I “crewed” for him…ultra-speak for meeting him at the 2 aid stations possible with dry socks, hot tea and soup, and encouraging words.
Camping at 10,000 feet, the mornings were cold, we had no electricity, and the “amenities” were a stiff hike away. I didn’t mind… I was there to support and to experience.
We met a couple who were traveling in their pickup /camper. They were there, enjoying nature, for a week. Then, they were heading west to more mountains for a few days. Eventually, they’ll make their way back to Utah and home.
They take two trips a year. The other trip this year that they took in their camper/truck? Alaska! For 3 months! They love to travel and have found a way they enjoy traveling. No cruises for them, they said.
Being the not-shy person I am, I asked them their ages. Dave and I had both thought them to be mid-seventies. I asked when they told me that have a daughter my age (well, 62, actually, slightly younger than me). They are 82 and 84 years old! Hiking around at 10,000 feet every day. Walking to the lake and around the trails. Sleeping in their bed above the cab of the truck that crawling into can’t be a small feat. And enjoying one another’s company.
We found out their 64th anniversary was the day after Dave’s race. We took a bottle of wine over to their campsite along with our chairs and we heard of their family, their year long separation (unexpected, one week after their honeymoon) when he was drafted to Korea, a few of their other trips. They had blue collar careers, raised three children and have grands and greatgrands. It was such an unexpected joy to sit with them and watch the sun set up in the Rockies.
Mark and Bobbe. We won’t forget them. Living simply. Figuring out how to enjoy their (unexpected) ThirdThird into their 80’s! What great inspiration they were to us spring chickens on our 60’s!