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Roger L. Simon

Fitness for Seniors (Me)

November 22nd, 2013 - 12:02 am

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I have an admission to make. (Well, it’s not so much of an admission because you could look it up on Wikipedia in about five seconds.) Today, November 22, 2013 — the 50th anniversary of Jack Kennedy’s assassination — I am seventy (70) years old.

Fifty years ago today, I was a senior at Dartmouth College, getting dressed to go visit my girlfriend at Skidmore for my birthday, when I heard the news. I went down to Saratoga Springs, New York, anyway and spent the weekend in a motel, watching television. I saw Ruby kill Oswald, easily the most dramatic moment of live TV ever.

I remember it pretty vividly, more vividly than a lot things in the fifty years since, some of which happened considerably more recently but, hey, I’m seventy.

Fortunately, I’m told I don’t look it and I know I don’t feel it. Seventy is the new sixty — or is it fifty? I seem to have as much energy as I ever had. Since resigning as PJ Media CEO last February, I’m writing up a storm with book and film projects lined up. My tennis game is better than it was when I was twenty-five. Also, I’m only about five pounds heavier than I was then and quite a bit more muscular.

I haven’t always been this way. Sometimes I have been pudgy and out of shape. Maybe more than sometimes — decades. No longer. As I got older, I panicked. It was now or never. Either start moving my body seriously or, well, it’s finito la comedia. I’m on my way out.

I started moving. Now I’m religious about staying in shape. I exercise six days a week, sometimes seven. Often I exercise more than once a day. In fact, the days I don’t exercise, I am frequently depressed. I’m probably addicted to exercise at this point. At least I hope I am because I want to be addicted. I just love those endorphins and the rest of the goodies that get released — serotonin, dopamine, etc. Exercise is a complete mood alterer for me. It beats therapy by a mile — trust me, I’ve done enough to know — and it’s a helluva lot cheaper. (No, you’re not going to see a selfie. I’m not running for mayor of New York — or Toronto.)

So what do I do? The easiest part is playing tennis. I’m a lifetime player (since age 7 approximately) and I play now 3-4 four times a week, singles and doubles. When I play doubles it’s usually for two hours, singles for an hour. Doubles can sometimes feel like not much of a workout, it’s such a strategy game. Singles, against a good player, is always a workout. Every Tuesday morning at eight, I take an hour lesson with Godwin Omuta, a former member of the Nigerian Davis Cup team who is six foot three and has an amused smile on his face as he runs me unmercifully around the court.

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All Comments   (38)
All Comments   (38)
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Great piece and keep it up. Likewise as I approach 62 in 9 days my cycling is the best ever all due to a power meter and a coach proving that "That which is measured, improves."
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many of us who are 60+ and unemployed ARE "retired" for economic reasons!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"No, you’re not going to see a selfie." Ah there still are tender mercies to be had. I shall reciprocate with no selfie of moi.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hell, ya, I'm retiring. My job is killing me with stress. I have so many other things I want to do in life. I newly energized with the thought of doing what I want and not what someone else wants. Will give me more time to continue with my weight lifting training, also. ETA: I'm 58 Y and 8 M old. Last work day is in 62 calendar days. F'm. :)
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was probably in the best shape of my life in my middle to late forties, but then one thing and another started breaking down, making vigorous exercise difficult to impossible. I suppose some aggressive medical care might fix some or all of them, or not. Overall I'm probably in better shape at age 60-something than I anticipated forty years ago, but maybe not quite as good shape as my father was in at the same age.

Seems like a lot of people make it to around 80 these days in much better shape than people made 60 when I was a kid. It's after 80 that it starts getting difficult, physically, mentally, and I suppose financially. Not to mention culturally.

Wish I could burn off more calories so I could eat more calories, amazing how few calories it takes to keep an old body moving and NOT losing the ten pounds I could do without.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The way to stay young and healthy is....well, stay young and healthy. I am 58, 32 inch waist, no health problems, can swim 2 kilometers in an hour, and have no regular program at all- I just walk around a lot (in Mexico City it's easy and necessary). At church I play instruments - drums, guitar, bass harmonica, and jump around and dance. If I am writing I write for 20 minutes then jump up and do something physical, like weed my urban rooftop garden of 150 veggie and fruit plants. Always RUN up stairs, never walk. Drink water. Laugh. Act goofy. Have good sex. What's so hard?

Best to you Roger. Un abrazo desde Mexico.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I swing dance. One of the few exercised that you can do holding on to a woman.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Happy birthday Mr. Simon and many happy returns.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Inspiring piece, Mr. Simon, and Congratulations! You're right about blueberries, or as the kid in the ad said, "Blueberries are our friends!"
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent, inspiring and impressive. Thanks, and happy birthday. Mine was yesterday..
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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