Beverley Yeomans can’t resist a challenge, especially a physical one. Learning the tango, flying a glider, teaching refugees, becoming at kayak racing champion, it’s all to do. To Beverley it’s obvious: “The more active I am, the more energy I have, the more things I want to do”.

Photo of Beverley smiling with a bright red buretteIt takes only a determined push with the paddle blade and quickly the kayak moves smoothly into the water. Beverley Yeomans, 82 years active, is back on the water, one of her favourite places. “I suppose being on the water is an unusual experience in that you’re able to support yourself and get along happily. It’s such a great way to exercise and you see the world from a whole new angle”.

Activity and adventure are the two elements that resonate throughout Beverley’s eight decades of loving life. The important condition on her activity choices is fun. “It’s got to be fun. I wouldn’t go to a gym in a fit because that’s boring. Kayaking is my exercise”, she laughs before admitting “I like a little bit of excitement in my life. I even make gardening an extreme sport. I can show you the scars!

For Beverley growing older brings both gifts and opportunities. There’s the chance to help others, something she regards as one of the best aspects of her life, “If you’ve got the time and the energy you can concentrate on doing things for other people, which I think is wonderful. There’s got to be a reason for having your carbon footprint on this earth so if you’re not doing something that’s really worthwhile there’s not much point, is there? “

In fact, there’s a relentless optimism in Beverley’s outlook. Asked about the best time in her life she pauses for just a moment and grins before replying, “Ah, I always think the best is yet to come, so I’m not too sure!

 “I like a little bit of excitement in my life. I even make gardening an extreme sport. I can show you the scars!"

But what about being seen as old? Once again, a smile precedes her answer. “I think my sense of old has changed because anybody old now has to be a lot older than me”, she laughs. “I feel exactly the same on the inside as I did when I was forty. And I still want to do all the things that I did. Actually I want to do more because time is finite now isn’t it?

“I love challenges. I want to prove to myself that I can complete something. Challenges are part of life. For me it’s everything from learning the tango to winning a Masters’ Games gold medal for kayaking. From teaching refugees English to staying fit. Let’s face it, ageing is a challenge, and you can’t be a sissy with that!

Beverley celebrates the freedoms of growing older, the liberating aspect of being a senior member of the community. “You don’t care what people think. The only thing that matters is that your family and your friends respect you, but otherwise there are no worries so you can be as outrageous as you like. You can be as straight as you like with people. I just find that so liberating. You can wear what you like. You’re not restrained at all. I love it!”