Swimming helps keep 95-year-old fit

January 8, 2012

The 95-year-old makes the best of every day, swimming three times a week at the Northside Community Pool, taking regular walks and spending time with friends and family.

“I’m scared to death to stop unless I don’t get started again,” she says with a laugh. “No, really I love life and I love people and that’s what keeps me going.”

MacDonald, who has a son, three daughters, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, said she feels blessed beyond words.

“I’m in my own apartment, I’m taking of myself,” she said. “My independence is my favourite thing.”

She has what she describes as “little aches and pains,” but quickly adds that she doesn’t like to complain.

“I don’t sweat the small stuff. If I know who I am and where I am, I figure I have a good start on the day,” MacDonald said. “To me, my age is just a number. My grandkids are already talking about my reaching 100, but as far as I’m concerned, I take it a day at a time.”

MacDonald said her children worry about her doing too much.

“My children come to visit and they say don’t do this or that and I say to them, when I need help I’ll ask for it. Until then, I’m quite happy to fend for myself.”

MacDonald attributes much of her positive outlook on life to being active in her church.

“I have a tremendous church family and for me, I’d rather have friends than money,” she said. “I hit a few bumps along the way. I lost a brother in the Second World War, but you manage. I still have six sisters that I talk to almost every day.”

MacDonald said she takes stock of what she eats each day and makes sure there is a wide variety of fruit and vegetables on the menu.

“It costs me to fill my fruit bowl every week, but it is well worth it. We need to look after our bodies if we want them to last — exercise and keep moving, that’s the ticket.”

Her friends at the Northside Community Pool held a birthday party in her honour after Friday’s adult swim.

“Along with a cake, we made sure we had hot dogs and onions, one of Mary’s favourite treats,” said Ruth Gardiner, longtime volunteer with the Northside Community Pool. “Mary brings a lot of joy to this place, she is a big part of our pool family.”

 By Julie Collins Cape Breton Post   January  8, 2012

SYDNEY MINES — You can’t help but smile when you meet Mary (Tom) MacDonald.

jcollins@cbpost.com

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