I DESIGNED A NINJA COURSE FOR SENIORS
After an intense weekend workout of grocery shopping, picking up my laundry, and stopping at the ATM, I’m ready to flop down on my sofa for a nap. As I approach 60, I just don’t have the stamina I did as a teenager.
It’s not like high school, when I’d come home from a chess club meeting, exhausted, and I’d take a nap in my bedroom.
But after a recent Saturday workout, I was more tired than usual because I took the time to put my groceries away. I turned on my television and as I drifted asleep, American Ninja Warriors came on. It’s not that I enjoy the show, but I was too bushed to change the channel on my remote.
Suddenly, I lurched upward with the swiftness of a box turtle running a 50-yard dash. Inspiration had struck.
Why not a ninja warrior event for seniors, like a senior golf or tennis tournament? But nothing too dangerous. Safety first, aspirin second, would be our motto.
Why not an obstacle course of household chores? Those tasks that were once so effortless but now must be done with care to avoid injury and activation of a medical alert button.
Motivated, I charted a course that would be challenging without having to worry about jumping, climbing a rope, or having to wear form-fitting athletic gear that does nothing positive for a bulging stomach.
My course begins with the always challenging getting bedding off the top shelf in the closet. Which means using exceptional coordination to find a stepladder and climb it, grasp the linens, which must weigh at least a good four pounds, and then get down from the ladder while holding the bedding.
Next, competitors must turn over a mattress, solo, no easy feat when it’s a double or more. I can imagine the creativity involved as competitors use tricks they’ve honed over the years to turn over a mattress while avoiding pulling a muscle or knocking over a bedside lamp.
The third obstacle is finding a television remote in a black sofa. But that’s just the first hurdle. The competitor then must cycle through the channels until he finds a commercial of some dude selling a pillow.
Next up, go to the bathroom. This isn’t an obstacle, but something I did when I was plotting out the course. It’s a frequent occurrence.
But while washing my hands, I did come up with another obstacle: trim a nose hair. In the mirror I saw a lone hair peeking out from under my nostril, so I grabbed my trimmer and removed the offending follicle. This may not make the cut, no pun intended, of the course, but a good practice nonetheless for participants. No one wants a linguini-like stray hair showing up while being interviewed on television.
The next challenge takes us into the kitchen where a pot with a hard-to-remove stain awaits. Using a scraper, participants work their biceps and triceps until the bottom of the pot is clean enough to pass inspection like that of a Marine sergeant who had assigned KP to new recruits.
Let’s go outside where the next challenge awaits: the yard. Lawns must be mowed and edged, bushes must be trimmed. Of course, that may be too much work for some seniors, particularly in the heat. So, for this obstacle, contestants will be judged on how well they supervise the lawn guy. In-shape vocal chords are a must!
The final obstacle is putting together an IKEA bookshelf. Figuring out the directions, making sure you have all the pieces and the tools, taking the thing apart when you realize you screwed the first two shelves in upside down; this challenge alone uses extreme cognitive and physical skills.
I can see the winners now receiving their trophies and proudly lifting them over their heads. Of course, the trophies won’t be too heavy. No one wants to lift them and tear a rotator cuff.