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Crying into the golden years – Lac La Biche senior loves to play
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Crying into the golden years – Lac La Biche senior loves to play

Lac La Biche grandpa Dale Meyer doesn’t want to act his age: He’s having fun.

Grade 9 volleyball player during a recent tournament, looking into the stands: “So, who’s your grandpa?”

Plamondon Wolfpack player Gage Sehn: “The one crying on the sidelines… the one with the wolf mask, the paws and the tail.”

For Dale Meyer, age is just a number.

The 72-year-old Lac La Biche resident is actively involved in the local community and is a familiar face at Plamondon Wolf Pack volleyball matches, not only cheering on the local team but donning a wolf costume and running around with youthful vigor. and the enthusiasm of a man decades younger.

The gracious grandpa has even been known to change costumes depending on the theme of the event, sometimes donning a hula dress and pom-poms to cheer from the sidelines.

Meyer says it’s important for seniors to stay active and young. The contributions and achievements of seniors across the province will be recognized during Alberta Seniors Week from June 3 to 9. Many people who have reached their golden years, like Meyer, remain very active in their communities and have no plans to slow down. Somehow, Meyer jokes, he’s just warming up.

The opportunity to communicate with younger generations, he said Lakeland this weekserves as motivation to attend local sporting events, adding that they help keep him young at heart.

“Age is just a number… my brain tells me I’m 16, but my body says I’m 72,” he said with an energetic smile.

A lifelong devoted sports fan, the Lac La Biche resident played baseball and hockey and continues to enjoy all sports. Meyer has shared his love of sports and physical pursuits with his children and grandchildren. Meyer and his wife, Elaine, rarely miss events involving family members, from hockey games to dance recitals. And Meyer doesn’t just go to where the action takes place… he also makes it in his own garden.

He builds sled and toboggan runs on the grounds of his Christy Creek property, sliding over the ice and snow creations with as much energy as the dozens of children invited by his grandchildren. He enjoys taking long ATV rides with the kids in search of hidden fishing holes, and has spent years working on a wooden mini-town that has served as a giant play fort and a creation of wonder for family and friends.

He loves seeing the smiles on the faces of his children and grandchildren when they work with him on the projects. And even though he gets a big kick out of the projects, he also realizes the deeper meaning.

“I think it is important to support the youth as they are the future,” he said.

He supports that future by maintaining a playful spirit.

Whether it’s running wind sprints with high school-age volleyball players in a busy conference center – wearing a wolf disguise, and catching the attention of a late-night toboggan party as he races down the 200-foot ice hill while sitting on a metal scoop, or a learning a few new moves during a dance rehearsal, Meyer says the joy of shaving is timeless.

While he may not be the athlete he was in his younger years, and yes, he does have a few bumps, bruises and cracks from his youthful activities, Meyer says it’s important to be active and present.

“I believe if seniors stay active, they will live longer,” he said. Furthermore, an active life at any age is a great way to improve not only family ties, but also ties in all parts of the community. “People see how active the community is, how involved the people are and it’s just growing.”