Photo of Margaret Fisher wearing white Feros Care polo and holding a tennis racket on a tennis court

The way Margaret Fisher used to move across a tennis court you could tell she was no novice. There was a spring in her step and quickness to her pace. She summed it up in moment. “I’m fitter now than I was in my fifties!” Her smile became a laugh as she added, “You can be. You just have to keeping doing!”

At 82 she retained the style and agility of a player from a younger generation. Not to mention the competitive spirit! So it comes as no surprise to learn she had once played at Wimbledon, striding the courts at the All England Tennis Club.

“Oh, it was magical!” she laughed, “Free strawberries and cream, a lift home after the game in a brand new Daimler and dancing at the Players’ Ball. What a time it was!”

Sixty years later Margaret was still on the move and that’s the way she liked it.

Being fit, focused and energised by her interests was the way Margaret Fisher lived her life. As far as she was concerned, being in your eighties offers some truly precious gifts.

What you’ve got to look forward to in your eighties is peace of mind. And you can be fit and get fitter, she declared.

It comes down to attitude and having a healthy sense of self-respect. On this point Margaret was without a doubt:

“You must be interested in yourself and your life. You must be interested in asking what next today, what am I going to do today? That’s then sparks that interest in yourself. You can be alive and alert and you can do new things or renew old interests. There are just so many things that people in their eighties can do.”

She insisted you shouldn’t limit yourself, but instead get thinking about the opportunities that await:

“You can visit people, you can pick up your knitting even if you thought you’d lost the skill. Try crocheting, it’s just beautiful the work you can do. Try everything! Learn to paint, learn to draw. There are so many things you can do just by picking up your pastels. You’ve just got to keep doing though, that’s what you’ve got to do.”

Growing older has other, less tangible gifts as well. For Margaret the wisdom of her senior years had let her reflect on what’s really important. She was typically resolute on this topic as well. You have to show kindness, generosity and, where you can, look after people.

Leaning back in her chair she paused for just a moment and said with great conviction, “Kindness keeps you level. Kindness gives you perspective on where you sit as regards where the others sit. Kindness is being able to look at those asylum seekers and think, 'Well, we all came here to this country.' Kindness is being able to think ‘Yeah we can move over a bit, we can allow this to happen. We can be a bit generous.’ It’s a gentle thing, kindness, but it’s also a firm thing. It’s being able to reach out and just give a lift to someone if they need it.”

Margaret summed it all up in this way: “There’s a whole world out there. It’s just so lovely to wake up each morning get up and go. Just do. And be kind to others. I know it sounds corny but it’s true.”