Longtime Fairbanks resident Carol Johnson says she grew up in an active family, and that habit stayed with her throughout her life. She bikes in the summer, skis in the winter, and does lots of walking. The 74-year-old is also a regular athlete in the Alaska International Senior Games, where she has competed in power walking, table tennis, cycling, track, and mini golf.
“One of the words of inspiration would be, try something new. Second of all, try it with a buddy. I know sometimes it’s a little bit daunting to go out and try something on your own, but if you have a group of people—like when I play table tennis there’s a group of people—you can have a lot of fun. Part of what I like about table tennis is just the group interactions and laughing. We don’t play cutthroat, but we laugh. It’s a good social activity. So, the second piece of advice would be, try your new activity with someone else. … I guess the last thing would be, have a goal. Perhaps you want to think about joining the senior games and competing—I don’t like the word compete so much—interact in an athletic way with other people. Think about what you’ve been able to do in the past. Even if it’s just walking, they have this power walking event so you can walk around the track and do it with other people. If you have a goal, like getting ready for a particular event, whether it be a road race or a swimming competition, if you have something to focus on, that keeps you motivated to work toward that goal.”