The Spring 2012 issue of the Baldwin Echoes — the alumnae magazine of The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania — arrived in yesterday’s mail.
I’m glad I don’t have to wear those blue tunics and bloomers anymore. But I did love Baldwin — an all girls’ school that taught me to believe that anything was possible in my life. Inspiration is still the name of the game at Baldwin, according to the school’s mission statement, a portion of which follows:
“The Baldwin School…develops talented girls into confident young women with vision, global understanding, and the competency to make significant and enduring contributions to the world…forming women capable of leading their generation while living balanced lives.”
Even though I’m no longer a young woman, I still think all of that is within reach — even the balanced life part. If I’m delusional, so be it. Because this marvelous mission statement also says that “Baldwin aspires to cultivate in its students the desire to remain learners throughout their lives, the compassion to extend themselves to others, and the strength of character to act on their beliefs.” (Note that there is no requirement that the beliefs be rational.)
More interesting to you, I’m sure, than the mission statement of my alma mater is the fact that one of my fellow Baldwin alums — Helen Runeyon Hills of the Class of ’46 — recently wrote a book called Still Riding at 80. Delusional? Not according to Helen, who is herself still riding at the age of 80.
In her book, she presents profiles of 20 elder horsemen and horsewomen. She shares the physical, mental and emotional challenges faced by riders in their 60s, 70s and 80s, and gives guidance on how to adapt to the physical challenges that come with age, providing tips for comfort and safety. She encourages readers to ride as long as they want…and to quit with no regrets when the time comes. Thank you, Helen.
Also, on the cover of the latest issue of the Echoes is the cutest little plastic sculpture of a horse by Alexander Scannell, who is in the class of ’16. It was featured in the Montgomery County [PA] “Rethinking Plastic” Recycled Art Contest. Great choice of subject matter, Alexander.
Delusional? NOT! I plan on riding into my 80s. A few years back, sitting outside of the Blue Seal in Torrington, CT was a woman in her 80s dressed in breeches and boots. Always worrying about the day I have to give up horses I stopped to talk with her; she said yes, she was 84 and still riding, but laughingly told me her horse was about 23yrs old. Hey sounds good to me. I rode my field hunter until he was 28yrs old. She dispelled my fears by telling me that when the day comes to give up riding it will be OK, because I will just be too tired to really want to ride. Doesn’t mean that I can’t always hang out on the rail. ;0)
Good, so we’re ready for Helen’s next book.