Tennis After 80

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Do you ever worry about losing your hobbies as you age? Well, read about these three women over 80 that actually believe the key to living is staying active.

Barbara Weber, age 80, is a tough woman to reach. So is 92-year-old Harriet Freeman. And at age 96, Jeanne Caroline is hardly ever at home. They believe the key to living is moving, and they’re always on the go. If they’re not running errands or having lunch with friends, you’ll most likely find them on the court at their local tennis club.

“Most of our friends think we’re crazy,” said Weber with a laugh. “And maybe we are. But I have to tell you, I sure feel healthy, confident and involved in life.”

Weber is adamant that it is never too late to pick up a racket.

“I was never athletic in the least, but now I just love it. Physically, mentally and socially, exercise really keeps me going,” she said.

 

Exercise has always been a part of Freeman’s life. But she never realized how much it meant until 25 years ago, when her husband died.

“I felt so alone,” she remembers. “But it was my circle of friends from tennis who helped get me back on track.”

Freeman believes getting involved, going out and keeping busy have given her a zest for life that she doesn’t often see in others.

“I have a friend who is exactly the same age as I am, and she’s sitting in a senior citizen home waiting to die. How can you have a good outlook and attitude when you don’t ever do anything?” she said.

Caroline agrees.

“Not only did I never believe life at 96 could be like this,” she says, “I honestly thought I’d have been long gone by now!”

Instead, she has a list of activities that await her every day. Not only does she play tennis, she also swims, does water aerobics, plays bridge, still drives a car and loves to read.

Adds Freeman: “Listen, age is very isolating. Friends decline, withdraw and pass away and your social circle gets smaller and smaller. I play tennis because I love all these women. Do you know what else happened right here on this court? They introduced me to a very nice man. And now, at 92, I have a boyfriend.”

One of the unexpected benefits Freeman has experienced is the reaction she and her group get from younger players.

“Sometimes they almost treat us like celebrities,” she says, smiling. “Do you know some say they hope to be just like us? How nice is that? Sometimes we even get to feel like an inspiration!” Freeman said.