Barrie Street – Fit and Inspired at 84!
Barrie Street. “I am 84 and feel 48. I’m blessed to have a passion for fitness, which I would love to spread in my blog Over50andFit.ca. I would also be delighted to reach folks who are less than 50. The message I am trying to impart is that ANYONE of ANY AGE can be fit and it is NEVER too late to start. I believe – indeed I know – that fitness can be inextricably woven into our fabric.”
Teaching has been one of my major passions, mainly involved at the secondary school level.
I am entering my 57th year of teaching Math with the same passion as when I began. Spending so much time with young people – whether teaching or coaching them soccer, field hockey, tennis, cross-country running, cricket or ping pong – has kept me young in mind. Young people will always remain the back-bone of society and to help them grow and mature has always been a privilege.
Travelling has occupied a great deal of my leisure time, having visited some 50 countries – many of which we erroneously call Third World nations – sharing their cultures and learning to appreciate their diverse lifestyles. Also learning to acknowledge how gracious and happy they are, despite often living in destitute conditions and being without the basic essentials of life. I have learned far more from them about the true values of life than I have from our own materialistic society. I have often encouraged my students to travel and acquire a better understanding of life.
Volunteering has probably brought me the most satisfaction. I have been able to teach teachers in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Jamaica and also teach children in Guatemala and Costa Rica. I have come away from all these experiences more enriched. Helping to build a village for abandoned children in Costa Rica 40 years ago – one of the boys I found living in a cardboard box on the street still keeps in touch with me – reminded me of my own childhood. My parents abandoned me when I was 6 and this experience gave me a compassion and understanding which otherwise I would never have acquired. Another exciting project was collecting a mountain of soccer equipment here in Vancouver – all of which would have been consigned to the garbage dump – and delivering it to a black South African township. This was gold to the kids.
Sports and exercise have brought me colossal fitness and health. I played team sports from the age of 10 to my mid-forties and then I began running, culminating in a marathon within a year. I was hooked. At 50, I graduated to triathlons and competed in my first Ironman, also within a year. From then on, I have been running, playing tennis and climbing our local iconic mountain – the Grouse Grind – which I have completed more than 2000 times.