Some dozen or so gray-haired watersports lovers have celebrated the 99th birthday of one of their own in the Logan Sports Academy. Lula Anderson has been living for nearly a century and moved all over the world, from Iran, India, Thailand to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Venezuela, Canada and the Dominican Republic. Quite the record, indeed.
She has a treasure trove of stories to share and does so gladly with her friends at the Rusty Joints class. This is where they gathered for a birthday practice of range-of-motion exercises in pleasant 90-degree water pools. Like anyone who lives such a full life, Anderson’s stories span from happy to sad to scary. When she was a foreign aid teacher in Iran, she recalled when a mob attacked the compound she lived in. In another story, a plane crashed and the only survivor was a friend of hers.
Her water aerobics friends at the Sports Academy have had lots of time to hear her stories. Even at 99, the birthday girl is sharp, agile and still largely independent.
Frances Leonhardt, one of the Rusty Joints member, has only pleasant words to describe Anderson: friendly, kind, sweet… Anderson always introduces herself to new members and makes them feel welcome, according to Frances. After the hour-long class, Leonhardt said some of the ladies reward themselves with a soak in the hot tub, sharing conversation and tales of their lives. Pat Christiansen said Rusty Joints is the only reason he can walk down to the pool. The program helps him stay active and maintain his health.
At our age, we’re lucky to keep what we have
Joan Lofthouse called Anderson “the most interesting lady.” She revealed that the birthday girl actually gardens regularly and had covered her tomato plants Monday night. One thing that Anderson doesn’t scrimp on is regular exercise. She said Rusty Joints Instructor Jo Brown has given the group advice on staying healthy and living long.
“She tells us, ‘Drink lots of water, stand up straight and keep walking,’” Anderson said. “So that’s the key.”