Those who are beginning to reach 60 years of age are taking advantage of having more time to return to hobbies that gave them joy when they were young, such as growing gardens, painting pictures, playing a musical instrument, joining a sports club, embarking on a cruise or play games on the computer.

One of the trends when you have time is to join a sports club where you can spend the mornings outdoors in the company of friends. This is exactly what Montse Font Oliván does, an 81-year-old woman who has been a member of the Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta since she was four years old. When this former social educator retired at the age of 65, a little after her husband did, she got used to going to her club every day, with the same punctuality as a Swiss watch, from mid-morning until lunchtime, often accompanied by her three granddaughters and two grandsons.

“One of the things I like most about our club is being able to talk to each other and have a social life,” explains this excellent swimmer who still swims 500 meters in the pool three times a week today. “I like interacting with people of all ages and very different ways of thinking. “It wouldn’t occur to me to go to a casal d’avis,” says Font to highlight her intergenerational attitude. “You learn a lot from young people,” she adds.

According to some research, the biggest concern of people over sixty is not necessarily reaching the age of 100, but aging with independence and dignity. That is, continue blowing out candles on the birthday cake without coughing and with enough force to continue being active.

One possibility, for example, is to embark on a cruise to see the Baltic capitals, reach the Geographic North Pole, stroll through Venice or jump from island to island in Greece, as Toni García and Marisa Torres have done, taking advantage of the fact that they are both retired and that his son David, who is a musician, works as a piano man on a Norwegian Cruise company cruise ship, currently docked in Papeete (Tahiti). “The next cruise we take will possibly be through French Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia, since our son will be sailing there until February 24,” García anticipates.

“My son has told us that some passengers who travel on the cruise ships where he works have sold their properties to live on a ship,” he reports.

And embarking on a cruise “can be cheaper than a residence, since the ships are still hotels where everything is included: gym, water games, library, game rooms, shows, meals…”, points out García. .

The textbook example is a retired Australian couple who recently made headlines when it emerged that they had booked 51 cruises in a row to travel almost uninterruptedly for 500 days. The advantage of this lifestyle? “That it is more economical than a nursing home or a retirement home,” both ‘cruise addicts’ answered.

A new hobby is also emerging that nothing was known about: older people are increasingly playing their children’s and grandchildren’s video games. A trend that has its epicenter in the US but whose shock wave is beginning to reach Spain. For example: according to a study by the American Association of Retired Persons: gamer grandparents (46%) slightly outnumber adults over 50 who also play video games and do not have grandchildren (43%). However, those who take the cake are grandmothers: they represent 60% of older people who play, a figure well above the 50% of female gamers over 50 without grandchildren.

Anabel Ávila Vegue, also known as the “avenging grandmother” in the video game League of Legends, where she behaves relentlessly with her treacherous adversaries, is an outstanding student of this trend. As she explains over the phone from Madrid, every day she dedicates about four or five hours to streaming her games.

In real life, Ávila is also a grandmother, although her passion has nothing to do with her grandchildren, since she has had it since she was very little. In any case, it was her son who, after seeing her very subdued after divorcing her, told her: “Mom, I know what you need, it’s called League of Legends and it’s an online game.”

Since then, there is no enemy base that can resist him. So far, his mastery has given him more than 100,000 followers on social networks. What’s more, after some games, as happened a few minutes ago before being interviewed, “I had to give a grandmotherly talk to a boy who had love problems,” she confesses without losing her smile.

Ávila’s hobby comes from afar: before graduating in League of Legends, he did a master’s degree in Super Mario Bros and reached pole position racing cars on the PlayStation.

Ávila confesses that she adopted the pseudonym “avenging grandmother” to settle scores with two players who trolled her and prevented her from playing. “She was a riff-raff with a black soul,” she summarizes.

“Before this alias my nickname was Cyr Hanna,” he reports. “My friends called me Ana and I have always been convinced that I was the reincarnation of Cyrano de Bergerac,” she highlights about the French writer who signed his writings with more or less imaginary names that he later made his own. “I have the same indomitable character,” he warns.

The “Avenging Grandma,” as defined in her League of Legends profile, “loves lost causes” and is loquacious and impertinent. “I fulfill my destiny as a warrior,” says this Madrid native who, when she is not turning her multiple adversaries into digital dust, helps her son in a childcare store.

“In Spain it is not so common for people of the same age to play video games, although it is beginning to be the case in South America, Japan, Great Britain…” he recites.

“How would you define League of Legends?” he repeats the question. “Like life itself,” she responds. “It is competitive as living can be, you meet people with different characters who then project them into the game and, above all, you learn many new skills every day, which allows you to brutally develop your mental capacity, because it is a game that grows almost to infinity,” he concludes.

Another popular hobby among older people is taking care of a garden. The one planted by Jacinto Gómez has about 30 square meters and is located in Godella (Valencia). There he plants tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and zucchini in summer, and beans, lettuce, cabbage, garlic and artichokes in winter. The last day he was on his land, for example, he harvested some chard and some arugula leaves from the two bushes he has of this plant from the cruciferous family. In total, Gómez pays 25 euros each month to the owner of the field because he rents a piece of his land, an amount that gives him the right to two weekly irrigations during the summer and one in the cold months.

In addition to the vegetables he obtains, this 66-year-old retired doctor reaps the satisfaction of being in contact with nature, and has been able to make several friends who share his same hobby, such as a 67-year-old doctor, a 68-year-old lawyer, and a forest guard who until recently was out of work. They all learn from each other, although Jacinto more than anyone else, as he is the one with the least experience in these matters.

“I give the surplus to friends,” Gómez informs about the destination of the 70 kilos of tomatoes that, for example, he can harvest in summer. “Since I retired, I live very satisfactorily, since I have started to do things that I couldn’t before,” he confesses. “In addition to the garden, I have signed up for cultural activities, as well as Pilates, in addition to having returned to a youthful passion: playing billiards,” he confesses. They are the caroms of the golden age…