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Sunday, 15 November 2015

A Walk and a Smile

Trying to beat the rain, my husband Rick and I headed to the boardwalk by the ocean last week for a walk. By the time we arrived at the trail, it was raining so we headed to the local recreation complex just up the road.

This is a beautiful facility, which is well used by the community. It has a pool, a bowling alley, a gym, meeting rooms, restaurants, a race track, two ice surfaces, one in a stadium with seating, and a walking track. Early morning as it was, the place had seniors, skating and walking the track.

Toned, fit seniors were working out in the gym and the pool had a seniors' exercise class while a group of moms and babies swam at the far side.

Seniors are a vibrant part of the community in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. From education courses in Community School and Seniors' College, to volunteering, and physical activity, many seniors lead full, busy lives. Every time we go to the walking track I smile to see how busy it is.

We are slow today as I have leg problems, so a group of fast moving people pass us. I stop to get some pictures and a older gentleman stops to speak. He walks four to five times a week with his wife who has finished her walk for today. He moves on and as I approach the starting line again, there he is, sat with his wife. We exchange smiles and I approach to speak with them.

They were married in their sixties, the second time for each. Marrying at that age, their children were raised; they have had a good life together. Now in their eighties, he has diabetes and she has poor eyesight. The walking track is perfect for them, keeping them active, giving them an opportunity to socialize. Walking is keeping him out of a wheel chair. He is a musician, and plays in two bands to this day, entertaining in seniors' homes to some people who are younger than he is. His wife speaks of his music which she enjoys. The twinkle in their eyes gives a hint of the young people they are at heart.

These two seniors were a true inspiration for me and represent two of the great stories on this track this day. A smile is all it takes.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful place to walk for exercise and to stop and meet someone. I'm sure you put a smile of their face, as well as yours. I would go there often if I lived nearby. Bess from MA

Marie Smith said...

It is a lovely place to walk and visit with people. 🙂 Thank you for visiting.

Anvilcloud said...

I would love to have a facility like this in our town.

Marie Smith said...

We are very fortunate to have such a facility. It would be a wonderful addition to any city in this country.

sousca said...

You are lucky to have such an excellent complex close by, especially as it offers so many different activities.
Thanks for sharing the touching story of the elderly couple. I often strike up conversation with people I don’t know, perhaps when admiring the same view whilst on a walk, or standing waiting for a bus, or even just looking over my garden gate. On breaking the ice, most folks are happy to talk. It is only occasionally I get a funny look!

Marie Smith said...

I think the smile is worth the occasional funny look too.

Shammickite said...

The local powers-that-be here are planning to enlarge our library and pool complex. but as money gets harder and harder to find, the expansion plans get smaller. The original idea was to have a gym and a raised walking track around the edge, like yours, but I think the walking track idea has been abandoned. Shame.

Marie Smith said...

It is a shame. The track is such a valuable asset and at different times of the day is used by all age groups.