Five years ago, on my 65th birthday, I stopped smoking so I could be around to enjoy my 70th.
This year, on my 70th birthday, I decided to enter the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge in an all out effort to shoot for 80 or 90.
Turns out I’ll be competing with contestants in their 40’s and as you can imagine, I had my work cut out for me. And, believe it or not, there are some things that forty-six year olds can do with relative ease that tend to tax those of us three score and ten. On the other hand, it makes each victory that much sweeter.
If the aforementioned drawback didn't pose enough of a disadvantage, shortly before the scheduled starting date, my wife ended up in emergency with what everyone thought to be a bad case of the flu. Instead she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and close to a diabetic coma. After a week in the hospital, she was back home and we found ourselves working out a major adjustment in both of our daily lifestyles.
Okay … so instead of starting on my birthday, I found it best to put the Body-for-LIFE Challenge off ‘til the Fourth of July. That way I could direct more energy toward my wife’s recovery, and we could face that challenge together. As of this writing, she has considerably improved.
Somewhere along the way, while still setting my sights on that new start date, I attempted to lift a tractor tire (with the tractor still attached) and blew out my right shoulder. Torn rotator cuffs incline to be painful when pushed, so another start day was imminent.
Following a couple of cortisone shots and therapy, I was ready to buckle down to business in time for the last available Challenge time slot. All I had to do was find a way to work around the shoulder thing. I developed a routine that proved successful, and since then even learned to bowl left-handed.
As an aside, I have faced tougher odds, though I’m not trying to play a pity card here. In spite of the above issues, and coupled with the fact that I am a cancer survivor, after reading the accounts of what some of the other contestants—even champions—had to endure, my troubles seem trivial. So, onward and upward.
As someone on the shady side of seventy, I can truthfully tell you that I haven’t felt this good in years. I don't pretend to look as ripped or quite as buff as some of my younger competition, but there’s an entire population of seniors out there who would doubtless find inspiration in my quest, where otherwise they might only find despair. My wife even says I’m looking good … but she’s like that. Hopefully, next year we can compete as a couple.
A word of caution: Side effects from this Challenge may include … more energy … greater strength … more spring in your step … bigger muscles … smaller waistlines … and a better outlook on life.
Oh, by the way, if somebody doesn't point out that $10,000 (not to mention the $25,000 Grand Prize) is a huge motivator in this competition, they’re not telling you the whole story.
Body-for-LIFE … you’ll be my Training-Partner-for-LIFE. I couldn’t have done it without you!
* Individual results will vary