out and about

Age is just a state of mind – Rock on !

Amazing.  Totally and utterly amazing.  If you’ve read the reviews, this won’t be a surprise, I saw the Rolling Stones on Tuesday at Olympic Park and they were quite honestly- incredible.  Not just because they have a back catalogue that’s just one monster rock anthem after the next. But the skill, their energy and their visible enjoyment of what they were doing knocked the whole experience out of the park.

Richards and Jagger are both 74 ,22 years older than me, and yet there they were looking cooler than cool, sounding awesome and demonstrating a stamina and athleticism that belied their actual ages.  

As soon as they burst onto the stage, Jagger in particular, was running, jumping, skipping and grooving all over the place.  His moves are so iconic, he was fluid and energetic throughout.  Gobsmacking.  Truth be told, I found it amazingly inspirational.  How the hell when aged 74 he can still rock it out with so much athleticism and energy?

Some people might say, they shouldn’t be alive at all, given the rock and roll lifestyle they’ve lived and embody.  But clearly something’s kept them going strong.

Sure, they have success and with success comes the financial ability to look after yourself well – access to diet, exercise, wellbeing etc.  And none of them are overweight, an increasingly significant factor in the health of our ageing population.  All of them have faces that have ‘lived’, and whilst several have experienced periods of ill-health, their enjoyment of what they are doing was evident and the most inspirational piece of the evening for me. 

What have I taken away from the evening?  Many things – not least the chance to dance and singalong throughout the night –  but most of all I was reassured that the older, wiser and more experienced – in this case rockers – can still knock it out of the park.  

When you excel at something as The Rolling Stones clearly do, it exudes a self-confidence and radiates great joy and fulfilment witnessing people doing something so well.  The collective experience was one of enormous enjoyment.  We saw past the grey hair, lived in faces and saw real masters at work showing us the way. 

In a way The Rolling Stones are great examples of tribal elders, and there are plenty of others born out of social change throughout the 60s and a driving force for change around the world.   

Like the Stones, Baby Boomers are still leading the way and challenging the norms.   Now grannies, grandads and even great-grandparents, these tribal elders are ringing the changes and setting new examples.   People who have seen the world, have had a go and lived through changes around the planet we could not have imagined 60 years ago. 

They are – like the Stones – fitter and healthier than ever before and are an extremely powerful cohort of change agents and leaders.  We shouldn’t forget the values, the spirit and the game changers that they are, by thinking of our older generation as slow, grey and immobile.

Jagger, Richards, Wood and Watts, certainly showed me how to do it on Tuesday evening in East London.   Evidence that age really is just a number, they demonstrated that it’s the attitude and permission to let yourself enjoy who and what you do well and share that with others that so inspiring. 

Being part of an industry that’s awash with phenomenal young talent constantly coming through, it’s very easy to forget that experience carries great weight and how we all benefit when we remember to tap into the wisdom of that experience and collective energy.   

Rock on !