Summit Time

Live longer with…PRECISION

The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years.” ~ Deepak Chopra

…in which case, my mom is roughly my age!

As I stood in the middle of a pack of seniors, I began to pick up not only the steps, but the spoken and unspoken rules of this silver-haired dance troupe.

We go out to lunch together frequently and always ice cream on Friday.”

To move with precision as a team, socializing helps. Coordinate a team-building event or just grab lunch with the new person on your team. Attend a group fitness class at your local studio… (hint-hint!) Create a connection deeper than an obligatory one.

There’s something comforting in precision.”

Line dancers work to stay evenly spaced and to move in unison, reminding me of my synchronized skating days…a sport formerly known as “precision” skating.

Moving in PRECISION is beautiful, rewarding, and neatly organized. Coordinated movement is soothing to the soul.

We don’t mind if anyone messes up.”

That put me instantly at ease because it’s daunting to be the newbie. You don’t want to ruin it for the others (or stick out like a sore thumb). Assure the new person on your team or standing next to you in class that it’s OK to ask questions…and to mess up!

When someone doesn’t show up, we call their house.”

The vast majority of these seniors are widows and they provide each other with an informal support system. (Besides, think how much better you would stick to your fitness regime or New Year’s Resolutions if someone were calling your house looking for you!)

Regardless of age or marital status, reach out. Let someone know you noticed their absence. They might need your help…or simply their day brightened.

If you don’t listen too closely, it’s fine.”

I giggled when my mother took offense at the lyrics to “Save a horse, Ride a cowboy”, but had no problems shaking her hips to “Blurred Lines”. Clearly she missed the MTV Music Awards! She acknowledges the controversy (some senior centers have even banned Robin Thicke’s song…) and purports to overcome any embarrassment by tuning out the lyrics. In hindsight, I realize that my mom has been perfecting the art of selective hearing for years…

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. We can’t always control the lyrics playing around us. Use selective hearing to tune out what doesn’t elevate you and tune into what does.

Come here into the center because we will face all directions.”

Line dancing requires memorization as you turn to face different sides of the room without the crutch of verbal (or visual) instruction. To my surprise, there were very few mistakes…fewer than in my gym classes full of cueing, role modeling…and mirrors! The difference? Everyone was completely tuned in. So, regardless of anyone “minding” mistakes, the collective mindfulness was the glue reinforcing the steps, the focus, and the rhythm.

Make it your own piece of personal pride and responsibility to be “tuned in”. Superior presence manifests superior mental performance.

We celebrate our birthdays..with the correct age.”

Something to keep in mind as you plan your 29th…or 39th… birthday celebration (again). When you look on the bright side of aging (e.g., the wisdom, perspective, experience), you are scientifically proven less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than if you face each birthday with dread. Celebrate your life by taking care of yourself…with PRECISION.

Do you want to explore PRECISION further? Click here for quotes, mantras, and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise here.

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit www.starslocker.com.