Beccles great-grandmother Joy reveals her secret for keeping active at 90
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Most people tend to slow down a gear at 90 years of age.
But for Joy Tupling, life seems to be going in the opposite direction.
Not only does the great-grandmother from Beccles enjoy long walks, a weekly Scrabble club and swimming in the town’s lido, she credits 30 years of daily yoga as part of the reason she keeps so active.
Mrs Tupling, who worked until she was 88, is part of Jenny Mercer’s weekly class at Beccles Station Community Rooms and is as flexible and supple as other members who are decades younger.
And she’s not stopping there - because next year she plans to skydive out of a plane fulfilling a life long dream.
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She said: “I started doing yoga when I was 60 because I was living in the mountains between Penrith and Newcastle 2,000 feet up and there wasn’t much to do in the winter time so my friend and I decided to go to a local class.
“There was a choice between yoga or vegetarian cooking, so I decided to do the cooking, not that I was very good at it, but I did that until the weather got bad and we couldn’t get down there, so when we could we decided to do yoga.
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“I later went to another class in Woodbridge but when that closed I just decided I could do it on my own every day, which I still do. I do the same routine, bending and stretching and a few poses, well the ones that don’t hurt too much. I can’t do the lotus and I can’t sit back on my heels, but I enjoy it so much.”
Mrs Tupling spent all her working life as a nurse, but when she arrived in Beccles 20 years ago she became a carer at the age of 70 using her moped to transport her to peoples’ homes. She and her husband David then worked together for many years as pet sitters for Animals Aunts, travelling around the country to care for animals while the owners were away, until her husband’s death in 2014.
She said: “I’ve never been out of work and I think it was down to my father from the very beginning. One day he was going to work and I started to cry because I wanted to go with him, I think I was about four. He told me that everybody in life has to work and he had to do it to look after us. He told me that I could pick some carnations and sell them in bunches over the gate while he was at work giving a ha’penny to my mother and keeping one for myself. From that moment on I was doing all sorts of things.
“I am really very lucky, it is the luck of the genes. I like keeping active, I don’t take any medicines apart from a tablet for osteoporosis and if I didn’t do yoga I would probably be hunched over by now.”
Mrs Tupling, who has three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandson, celebrated her birthday last Wednesday and enjoyed a party on Sunday at Redneck Wheelstop Diner at Ellough.
Mrs Mercer, who takes Mrs Tupling’s class said: “She is really flexible and supple, in fact she is one of the most flexible and supple people in my class. She is an inspiration and she certainly doesn’t look 90. It’s not just about keeping fit, it’s about keeping mobile - she tries absolutely everything.”
Mrs Tupling added: “I want to skydive in the spring. Both my brothers were parachutists and anything they can do I can do better!”
Visit the Beccles and Bungay Journal website to see a video of Mrs Tupling at her yoga class.