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Image: Harlem Honeys and Bears practicing in the water

You’re Never Too Old to Dive into Your Dreams!

Have you ever seen a 90-year-old do a flip? If the idea that you’re too old to try the things you’ve always wanted to try has ever crossed your mind, you’re definitely going to want to listen up! We’re heading to the pool to see how the Harlem Honeys and Bears are defying that logic, and showing us what can happen when we turn our interests into action.

Catch the Harlem Honeys and Bears in action and you’ll be surrounded by seniors 55 years and older going upside down, turning, and spinning all in complete synchronization! (Don’t worry—this can be you one day, too!)

Harlem Honeys and Bears not only encourage seniors in their communities to stay active and healthy, but they’re also harnessing the thrill of getting out and trying something new. In fact, this award-winning synchronized swimming team says that most of their members didn’t know how to swim until they were 65! It all goes to show how regardless of the number of years you’ve spent on this planet, the option to try something new is always right at your fingertips.

Image: Harlem Honeys and Bears practicing in the water
Courtesy of Veena Rao!

“I think I will be on this team for as long as they’ll have me, and even when they don’t want me. I can’t imagine anything else that would get me up in the morning and out!”

 Member of the Harlem Honeys and Bears.

The Harlem Honeys and Bears was born in 1970 as a vehicle to teach seniors water survival techniques, water therapy for soothing chronic illnesses, and therapeutic water exercises! 1 They combine fun, teamwork, competition, and health into a powerful cocktail that keeps the members coming back for more!

Seeing this team in action makes me think about what it is that gets me out of the bed in the morning, and why. And, more importantly, their wisdom fills me with a deep excitement that the opportunity to keep discovering new parts of myself. A journey of discovery that never has to stop, regardless of how much I age.

So, grab your swim cap and floral bathing suit, because we’re diving into one of their practices to hear from these joyful swimmers about what being a part of the team has added to their lives. Filmmaker Veena Rao brings us along in her beautiful film:

Via: Veena Rao 2

You can see more beautiful work from Veena Rao over on her Vimeo channel or website! And stay up to date by following her here, and learn more about the Harlem Honeys and Bears over on their website! And see some absolutely beautiful paintings of these swim team members from the artist, Modupeola Fadugba, by clicking here!

A little motivation to get you started…

So, what’s something you’ve always really, really, really wanted to try?

Have you always wanted to be a dancer? Learn how to ice skate? Cook French cuisine? You don’t need to know right this moment, but the next time you’re struck with that feeling—you know, the one where you just gotta try that—act on it. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been on this planet, you can still access the thrill of trying something new!

These next few stories are proof of that! In each of these three, you’ll find someone over 65 embracing that feeling and going for it. (Just try not to leave motivated after these, I dare ya!)

The Artist Who Brought the World Joy One Egg at a Time

How can we spread joy with our work? Certainly, the answer is unique to each of us, but sometimes we need a little inspiration to get ourselves started. So let us introduce you to one of those sources of inspiration, Shari Kadar.

Read More
How this 70-Year-Old Racer Changed the Sport of BMX!

Have you ever told yourself that you’re “too old” to do something? Or that you “can’t do that”? Well, here’s one female BMX rider in her 70s who will get you paving your own path to joy throughout your own life! 

Read More
This 81 Year Old Learned to Code to Create an App for Seniors

You’re never too old to learn or try something new. Not ever. If you need proof, take a look at 81 year-old Masako Wakamiya, who after never touching a computer until she was 58, coded an entire app to help seniors in her community stay connected and live more fulfilling lives. 

Read More

As always, stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

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Notes:

  1. “Home | Harlem Honeys & Bears Synchronize Swimming Team.” Website, 2019, www.harlemhoneysandbears.org/. Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.
  2. Veena Rao. “The Honeys and Bears.” Vimeo, 30 Mar. 2020, vimeo.com/122907696. Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.
Published: April 16, 2020

Image: Samantha Burns

Sam Burns

Former Editor-In-Chief

Sam wrote and edited hundreds of articles during her time on the Goodness Exchange team from 2016-2021. She wrote about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the Goodness Exchange, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.

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