If there were a FUN way not to grow old, would you consider it? Would you like to have some control over your aging process … to stay young? You bet your sweet bottle of prune juice or fiber bar you would! While the bad news is we're all going to die, the good news is some of us will make decisions that maintain quality and extend heartbeats. So take heart: Getting OLDER is inevitable; getting OLD is not!
Do you remember what happened to Olympic swimmer Johnny Weismuller? He became a Hollywood star, playing Tarzan on TV and movies for several years. He was a handsome man in loin cloth and quite the physical specimen in his day … he could hold his breath under water for almost 5 minutes.
Rumor has it that as a publicity stunt, during his Tarzan days, Johnny agreed to a personal bet, a daring feat of endurance to test his mighty prowess. He would keep up with his 2-year-old nephew for an entire day! He would mimic and play when the child played and rest only when the child rested. Short version: The kid ran around, jumped around, rolled around, skipped, hopped, played games, laughed a lot, and kicked Johnny's butt. Exhausted and embarrassed, Johnny admitted his defeat, and paid up. Johnny was in his 30s at the time. Moral: Never underestimate the "power of play"!
In 1969, after playing college football for Kent State University, I was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a place kicker and punter. Since the kickers and quarterbacks had tackling drills together (guess the coaches thought we wouldn't hurt each other!) I had tackling practice with Terry Bradshaw. My fame was short lived, and after a few weeks of play, I received a "no, thank you" from the Steelers and a plane ticket home with my passion in hand.
Then in 1974, I played a couple exhibition games for the Chicago Bears. My claim to fame was that I could kick a football, on a kickoff, further than anyone known to man--this is a fact. When I kicked off from the 30-yard line the ball would occasionally rocket over the goal post 80 yards away. This meant that the ball had to travel approximately 85 yards in the air! In the midst of practice everyone would stop to watch. Problem was, I didn't always kick it straight, so my career as a field goal kicker never flourished. I received a "no thank you" from the Bears, another plane ticket home with my passion still in hand.
When I was cut from the Chicago Bears, it seemed like all the work I had done to become a world-class athlete had been in vain. What good then was the "power of play" if kicking a football for distance had little economic value? So I redirected my passion: I got a degree in finance and real estate, traveled the country, made a few bucks in the real world. And for play I took up running, golf and tennis.
Zap to 35 years later. I stand here today at another crossroad: a 65-year-old Boomer looking down the road to 100. While this is a path "beyond where few have gone before," there are currently 10,000 Boomers turning 65 every day for the next 19 years, so I have a feeling I am not alone at this crossroad.
"Getting old is not for sissies." So how am I going to muster the energy and strength to lead by example among my peers, so I can receive the intoxicating applause of these 10,000 per day? I also want to play with my grandkids and great grandkids, keep up with them, and maybe even beat them at their own games. I want to dance with my wife forever. That's what I'm talkin' about!
I want to make the rest of my life the best of my life. Thousands of my peers do too! Maybe you're one of them. Got a plan of action? All you need are the renewable resources and ability to produce and supply a product or service of great value, distribute it effectively, and price it properly to an unending demand. Easy peasy? Here’s how!
My kicking around in pro football actually provided me with the knowledge and understanding I NOW need of the human body, proper nutrition, the balance between physical and mental play, and the winning merits of a good supportive team to dance across the 100-year goal line. And my degrees in business and life have taught me how to create and implement a successful business plan. So, let the healthy aging games begin!
My favorite playmate, my lovely and talented wife, Sheri, is my life and business partner. Together we champion healthy aging and an Active Positive Lifestyle to our growing collection of aging, energetic friends.
An Active Positive Lifestyle means: Nourish your body, Stay active (speaking of "play!"), Stimulate your mind, and Connect with others. After all, what are our thousands of friends going to do for the next 35+ years? We want them to come out and play with us, kick the can, banter clever repartee, and live life to the point of tears. Care to join us?
As photo journalists, public speakers and Seniors, we promote Active Positive Lifestyles and Healthy Aging in America. If you would like us to promote your event or speak with your group or organization, please contact us…we would love to hear from you!
Sheri and Bill Eppright,
Positive Public Image, Inc.