I had a late afternoon doctor’s appointment this week, just blocks away from where my dear friend Mike lives. He and I made plans to visit afterwards so I could see some new artwork he had purchased, and go out to dinner together.
The last time I saw him, he was dissatisfied with the way he was looking (a few pounds overweight, jeans too tight) and feeling (out-of-shape, tired). Not one to blame it on his age, and resign himself to it, he made a decision and stuck with it. He began walking to the H.E.B. grocery about a half-mile from his home, rather than driving. He renewed his membership to the gym, works out 6 times a week, (2 of those with a personal trainer)and walks there each morning. He also began to walk at the park at the new Mueller Development.
I was really impressed when Mike opened his front door to greet me! I’ve known him for over 20 years, and he’s always been slim, but buff is a new thing. He’s always been decisive, adventurous and very creative. He makes up his mind, and then does things. He left a job, one year shy of being able to retire, and started his own German-to-English translation business. He decided he wanted to get back into playing the piano, and now has a beautiful piano in his living room where he plays regularly and is doing his own arrangements. And he wanted to learn to make his own cappuccino.
Mike told me that he walks “pretty much every day,” does 150 sit-ups and 100 push-ups. “If I don’t do it now, I crave it. Especially with a sedentary job like my translation business where I sit for hours. I’ve realized that I must get up each hour to get both a physical and mental break.” That includes going into his designated coffee room, complete with an Italian espresso machine that he has mastered, a cozy window seat for himself and/or a guest, and a French door out into his beautiful backyard. An ideal place to relax and refresh your spirit and your mind!
I am very impressed with Mike’s lifestyle changes: from inactivity, and not being mindful of what he was eating, to a fit and healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on movement, and a diet based on a variety of fresh, healthful food. He said he is trying all sorts of new fruits that he had never eaten before as he placed a plate of apricots the color of a Texas sunset on the tray with our cappuccinos. “Since I’ve been working out, I’m more focused and efficient. I find that my my mind/body connection is improved. If I get stuck on the perfect word for a translation, or the perfect phrasing for a piano arrangement, I go for a walk, and the answer, the right word, just appears! Maybe it was there, and I was blocking it…but the solution shows up!”
We joked about reinventing ourselves at our age. About “60 being the new…40? 50? What?” Mike’s answer was, that it’s the new black, and that sounds great to me. Any age can become an opportunity to create a sexy, healthy, and vibrant life for ourselves. Oh, and to create a smaller jean size!