Pooling Talents and Aging in Style

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seniorswim540Pooling Talents and Growing with Style: (Left to right) Darlene Slater, Richard L. Akers, and Carolyn Pratt, all retirees, are not geezers or codgers; they are managing the aging process, and having fun.  That’s the reason yesterday morning at the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA they were looking for a term to replace “Splashers.”  Richie, a septuagenarian volunteer swim instructor, and his lovely wife of 47 years, Laurie (not pictured), are early morning regulars at the Y, which offers an assortment of programs for older adults from swimming and health and fitness (sit-fit), to service-learning, trips and social clubs.  Darlene says, “Splashers are the adults who come in and splash in the water.”  The Bedford Y boasts swimmers and aqua joggers, ranging in age, from over 50 to 100 – who work out from 3 – 4 times per week.  Of note: Those who come in to splash, don’t stay splashers for very long. “I learned to swim here at the Y, earlier this year, and swam in the ocean waters of Cozumel, last month,” says Darlene who’s in her early 50’s. At YMCAs, older adults have a chance to keep active “and grow in spirit, mind and body,” says Darlene.  Akers adds, “I get the most fun out of taking people with limited and no aquatic experience and assisting them to become swimmers. We have members of a certain age who started from nowhere and now compete in the Empire games in Cortland, New York.”

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