Why This Gnarly, Nearly 90 Guy Keeps Active

While recovering from New Year’s shenanigans, let’s get serious for a moment. Most people slave at jobs to make it to age 65, then retire, collect Social Security and end it all while sitting on their butts watching reruns of I Love Lucy. Others have the energy and guts to continue successful careers and/or active volunteering for several more meaningful decades.

According to Social Security records, the number of Americans living to age 65 and beyond skyrocketed from three million in 1915 to 35 million this year. While the general population tripled in those decades, senior ranks increased tenfold.

Need To Keep Busy: After a long career in advertising, I retired at age 65. Then I spent ten additional years as public relations director of a city community center. Now I continue daily as a freelance writer, and if luck and health hold out, I’ll keep doing it until I hit 90 in August.

Move Your Butt: I get out every day, usually with a morning and afternoon hike of at least 30 minutes each on busy city streets. I do it not only to maintain physical condition, but also for the mental stimulation of interacting with people, trees, shops, dogs and everything else.

Don’t Allow Age To Hold You Back: Unfortunately, too many retirees of my advanced years sit alone at home or in a nursing facility. This surrender to a date on the calendar becomes a constant physical and emotional reminder that life is no longer worth continuing.

Therefore, in this new year I hope other seniors will get mad, get up and get out to embrace a positive attitude as expressed by the oft-quoted Dylan Thomas poem. “Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should burn and rave at close of day.”

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