Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Above is my hero, Rhonda Fosser. She turned 60 in May of this year. In the most recent 5K I ran, her chip time was 23:02. She is a phenom! She won the Grandmaster Female trophy for the Watermelon Series of four 5Ks this year as well as a big race in Jacksonville earlier this month. I also think she looks just great.
However, when she was awarded her trophy a young man behind me muttered, "Oh, great, the geriatric awards." I wanted to stick up for her - for me - for us - but I couldn't think of any snappy comeback.
It kind of sat on my mind for several days and I thought that eventually exactly what I should have said would come to me. I thought about a relative I just adore who was considering a career in pediatric physical therapy, but was no longer interested when she discovered her training would involve people of all ages, many of whom would be elderly. There just is a lot of prejudice about older people. I finally decided that I am unlikely to change this young man's mind and heart, so keeping quiet was probably not a bad choice.
The one consolation to this situation is that most of the people holding these prejudices will eventually become subject to the same.