BY the time most people hit their 70s, they are looking forward to slowing down and enjoying a relaxed lifestyle.
For Hughesdale resident Annie Chapman, the eighth decade of her life has so far proved to be as hectic as the seven before it.
Now 73, Ms Chapman is in fine health, a testament to her commitment to keeping fit and healthy.
She just clocked up her 1000th visit to Curves gym in Oakleigh, and is the first member to do so.
Yet her story is much more than a quick run on the treadmill each day.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Ms Chapman’s son, Chris, found out he had irreversible kidney damage and would need a transplant if he was to avoid dialysis.
Despite her age Ms Chapman put her hand up straightaway, and, because of her excellent health, doctors agreed that she would be a suitable donor.
The transplant surgery was a huge success, and both Ms Chapman and her son were fighting fit soon after.
She recovered so quickly that six weeks later she was back at the gym, working out every day.
Her commitment to fitness is astounding, and she said it stemmed from a very personal place. “My husband died in 2000 from Parkinson’s,” she said. “I had to keep as fit as I could, for his sake.”
Looking back on her life, it is amazing that Ms Chapman is here to tell her story at all.
In 1956, she was hit by a train at Carnegie station while crossing the tracks.
After she recovered from that, she was involved in a serious car accident.
“That one nearly finished me,” she recalled with a laugh. “I’m like a cat. I have nine lives.”
She is still here to tell the tale.
Reflecting on her life, Ms Chapman summed it up with a wry smile.
“It’s been a little different, let’s put it that way.”