This New Fitness Craze Is Just Too Badass For Words
There's a lot of pressure to slow down and take it easy as you get older. These 60-year-old (and older!) Japanese cheerleaders are having none of that.
Say what you will about the baby boomers*, but they sure changed things.
The generation born right after World War II has consistently, forcibly remade the world in their image. At least in wealthier countries, this cohort saw what society expected of them and said, to paraphrase, "Screw that."
They resisted war. They brought women into universities and professional spaces in droves. They shook up the dress code (remember men with long hair and/or perms and ladies with paisley jumpsuits, anyone?).
And now they're getting older.
They look at cultural expectations of aging, with images of grandmas knitting, playing cards, and waiting for death to take them. Once again, they say, "Screw that."
That's where Japan's Senior Cheer Association comes in.
It's a competition cheer squad. All of these ladies are over 60. Some of them are in their 70s. And they are active, confident, and fabulous.
Fitness is a major factor in keeping older people independent. It's good for mental health, too. But who's going to work out if it's not fun? Time to pass out the pom-poms.
This is a new way of being an old lady.
It. Is. Awesome.
*I do not know whether the Japanese refer to people born in the 1940s and '50s as "baby boomers," but they did have a population explosion around that time, as well.