“You can learn something from everything you do, even if it’s not to do it again.”
This slogan is how Gayle “GG” Goad lives her life and provides a guiding wisdom for all she does.
Gayle Goad is not afraid of a little adventure and, truth be told, her life has been full of it. She is not afraid of trying new things, seeking out new information, and living life to its fullest. She embodies the spirit of “Squeezing the Day.”
When we caught up with GG to get a glimpse into her active life, we had to schedule it around her beloved badminton practices. She is, after all, a Senior Olympian training for her next round of competition in November 2021. But like many things, GG happened upon badminton when a friend of hers took her to a match and she got hooked.
Her interesting and active life is fueled by her innate curiosity. How did it all start?
Q: GG, the signature plate on your email says it all, “I’d rather wear out than rust out. I’d rather die of stress than boredom.” How did that signature plate come to be?
GG: “You know, I really don’t remember. I’ve been using it for so long, I don’t know if I made it up or stole it but …it fits how I feel.”
GG: “I was a stay-at-home mom with three little girls and not much exciting happening. I saw an article in the morning paper about the first yoga teacher teaching yoga at the old YMCA downtown. So I asked my husband for permission to go to the class one night a week and found that I was good at it.”
In fact, when the teacher left, GG took over teaching the class. This was in 1965. She has since taught at various places around town including FiftyForward Knowles.
Q: You have a huge galley of friends who are inspired by you. Many of these friends are quite a bit younger…. How does that make you feel?
GG: “They almost have to be younger because unfortunately people my age don’t want to do the things I want to do. Like play badminton, pickleball, ride my bike, dancing. Very few friends my age want to do what I do so I have to find younger friends.”
This year, GG will compete in badminton and pickleball in the Senior Olympics and she takes it all in stride saying, “the key is to outlast them. If I can stand up, I’ll probably get a medal!”
Even her response to dealing with COVID-19 has been impressive. Not one to sit around, GG decided to survive this pandemic and to use the time to become stronger and healthier. She finished a 30-day yoga challenge, has been riding her bike, watching her diet, and increasing her endurance.
GG also takes pride in the work she is doing to assist seniors, especially those seniors who live alone, by her advocacy for several safety measures such as TDOT’s Yellow dot program (https://www.tn.gov/tdot/traffic-operations-division/transportation-management-office/yellow-dot-program.html) , RoadID program (https://www.roadid.com/) , and the use of the app Snug Safety (https://www.snugsafe.com/), which allows seniors to do daily check-ins. In her 70s she started a website called singleseniorsafety.com to show seniors who live alone how to put safety precautions in place.
Keeping up with GG is quite a feat. She is a grandmother of 11 and a great-grandmother to four and not one to sit down for too long.
Take a listen to this vibrant older adult who is living life to the fullest and “Squeezing the Day” every minute.