An older mechanic once told me to treat my body like a vintage vehicle. “Never push things to the limit or it’ll break!” Martin Allen was actually referring to himself.
I was never Superman in my younger years, yet could do my fair share of chores in a day. It wasn’t unusual to work 10 hours and then come home to mow front and rear lawns, plus bag the grass.
Staying up into the wee hours of morning working on projects was routine. My father called this, “Burning a candle on both ends.”
Long Alaskan summers allowed for plenty of hiking and biking. Adding those events after a day at the shop amounted to a full workout. I could seemingly motor along without ever getting fatigued. Youth has it’s virtues.
I’ve slowed down considerably since turning 60. I can still do most of the same things as before but at a more leisurely pace. Mom always preached, “Listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something!” I do that religiously after having an afib episode.
I don’t push myself like I used to. There’s nothing for me to prove these days regarding stamina or athletic ability. The late Jack Lalanne loved to demonstrate how many pushups he could still do at 90. This was partly because he was hawking books or selling his miracle “Power Juicer.”
If anyone should be called Superman, it’s Jack Lalanne. Regardless of Jack’s superior physique, the man died at 96. Cigar smoking, exercise-exempt, comedian George Burns lived to be 100. Go figure?
Everyone will die sooner or later. Some will outlive others and I suppose for a few there’s bragging rights here. I’m not one of those few. The important thing to me is that I made a decision back in 1973, on where I’ll go when my heart stops beating. Hopefully, Jack and George did the same.