When you think about hobbies for the elderly, gymnastics probably isn’t high on that list.
But Marjorie Scholes is defying all expectations and is still leaping, tumbling and balancing on the gym floor – at 80 years old.
The grandmother only started gymnastics when she was 76, and this month she came second in the 2019 Adult Gymnastics British Championships – over 45s category.
Marjorie really is proving that age is just a number and making us all feel incredibly lazy.
‘I became interested in adult artistic gymnastics about four years ago, having watched my granddaughter compete for Carterton Gymnastics Club.’ Marjorie tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Then my daughter joined the adult section at the gymnastics club (having done it herself at junior school).
‘I just thought – you know I wouldn’t mind trying it myself. I was invited by the club’s head coach Debbie to come and try it. I was hooked.’
For people who have been retired for a long time, finding a routine to get you out of the house can be a lifeline. For Marjorie – gymnastics provides a social outlet as well as the mental and physical benefits.
‘I love it because it gets me out,’ she explains.
‘I meet new people and it exercises parts of my anatomy I have never used before. It certainly helps with flexibility and gives me a sense of achievement trying something I have never done before.
‘It boosts my confidence and gives me a feeling of well-being.’
But trying something new can be scary. Particularly is it is something that is completely out of your comfort zone. Marjorie thinks it’s important to be brave.
‘I would say don’t be afraid. Have a positive attitude. Take the bull by the horns and try it. If you believe you can do it then you will.
‘You never know, you may be a budding gymnast waiting to burst forth! It is the best thing I have done for a long time.’
Marjorie is a passionate believer that people in later life need keep their bodies healthy, as well as their minds.
‘It is all too easy to do nothing,’ she says.
‘You get great benefits from being active. It may be hard at the start, but once you have made that effort you will be surprised how much better you feel.
‘It will boost your moral, give you more confidence, you will become more mobile and you will have an aim in life. You will feel much better physically and mentally.’
To walk away from a national competition with a silver medal is a huge achievement for anyone – but for Marjorie, it meant the world.
‘My biggest achievement is knowing how much more mobile and fitter I have become,’ she explains.
‘My outlook on life is much brighter and the icing on the cake is being able to compete in the British Gymnastic Championships this month. Coming second in the over 45s category floor routine was amazing.
‘Being able to perform my routine in front of a such a large audience was quite a remarkable experience. In fact it was absolutely fantastic!’
So next time you think you’re too tired to go for a run, or too nervous to try something new – think about Marjorie, she is sure to inspire you.
Anyone looking to start gymnastics, at any age, can find a local club on the British Gymnastics website.
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Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.
Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.
To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com
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