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I was poking around the internet this morning exploring different definitions of the word “participation”.  Here is the one I liked the best:  the act of sharing in the activities of a group”

What prompted me to think about “participation” was a horrific story I read yesterday about some 83 year old guy that was with his family and he died on a ride at Disney World.  I started thinking about the warning signs that rollercoasters and other thrill rides post about not getting on those rides if you have high blood pressure, heart issues and/or other medical conditions.  Clearly, most older people, including me, have one or more of these risks and therefore should avoid participating with your younger family members on these types of activities.

After I read that article I started thinking about other activities that I, personally, cannot participate with my family members anymore.   As I am currently taking a blood thinner, I certainly cannot place myself in situations of falling down and bonking my head, so participating in skiing/snowboarding, ice skating, dangerous hikes, jet skiing and similar “can produce a fall” activities does not make good sense.

Focusing on weight control: Losing weight will often allow for much more “participation” with your friends and loved ones.  Shedding multiple pounds allows for easier movement/motion, reduces the risk of falls, lessens joint pains and in many other ways, sets us up to participate in physical activities.  

There is another aspect of participation that is somewhat more sensitive to discuss.   Many people will not “participate” in social gatherings because of self-consciousness about their “look”.  Is it fun to participate at a pool/beach party when a person is completely uncomfortable needing to be in a bathing suit?

So, although we elderly folks may not be able to ride the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens with our grandchildren or children anymore, there is no reason why we cannot “participate” in many other fun activities and events.  Successful weight loss will translate into higher levels of “participation”.  

And here is something we can all “participate” in no matter what our age/weight/health.  When Neil get to the part of saying “Sweet Caroline”, shout  “Whoo, Whoo, Whoo”. (That’s woe woe woe, not who who who).