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Yesterday, I had a fascinating experience at the swimming pool that left me reflecting on life, aging and the importance of health. As I eager to enter the gym two days consecutively, I met a big crowd. The sauna room, jacuzzi and swimming pool were all packed with about 40 people.

Among the diverse group of swimmers, one person caught my attention. There was an elderly lady who appeared well over 100 years old. Her frail figure and reliance on a cane made me take a second look. The skin under her swimming suit hung loosely, a reminder of the passage of time made me sad! This prompted me to ponder whether I will age similarly one day.

Yet, I was impressed by her determination to engage in exercise despite her condition. As she prepared to leave the pool area, she put on a hat and pulled a carry-on which was strange to my eyes. Slowly, she put one foot after the other exiting the area.

Interestingly, this pool was predominantly used by Asians, around 99%. I believe a good number of Asians reside here, but not nearly 100%. I noticed that most Asians are into health and fitness, not only here but also in parks and at work. During break times, you would see most Asians taking brisk walks outdoors.

Returning to my swimming journey, I have always enjoyed staying in the jacuzzi, the sauna, and the pool. After one month of swimming, I can now swim from one end to the other without a pause. I regulate my pace, so I don’t feel exhaustion. At this point, I haven't mastered the technique yet. My future plan is once I relocate in Vietnam, I will take some lessons. I aspire to swim like those who seem to enjoy in the water effortlessly.

The encounter with the elderly lady left me ponder about aging gracefully. Will I be blessed enough to live as old as she does? Although I want longevity, I don’t want to look so old or frail. Will I be able to beat the cruelty of time? Probably not. It's part of life. What I can only do on my end is to preserve my health and beauty as long as I can with regular exercise and a balance diet.

In this moment, I am grateful for prioritizing my health. A fulfilled life consists with a sound body, a clear mind and a vibrant spirit. ♥️

Crystal H. Vo

Oct. 9, 2023

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