I want to share with you something I’ve been thinking about this past week.
It all started when my family and I went to the Sarasota Circus. We had a fantastic time watching the performance, and the talent and athleticism the performers demonstrated was absolutely astounding.
One thing that shocked me is that a few of the performers are what most of us would say are “not spring chickens.”
During the show Dolly Jacobs, part owner of the Circus, does an amazing aerial act where she holds herself up by two ropes while flying through the air and achieving dozens of different poses. The display of strength, flexibility and body control is incredible.
Even more incredible though is finding out that Dolly is 58 years old! Shocking when you see that her body looks and performs like you’d expect from a woman half her age.
At the end of the show, the Wallenda family does an unbelievable high wire act that is finished off with a 7 person pyramid that includes four people on the wire, each holding a bench on their back, two people on the second layer and one on the top in a chair balanced on a pole. The one on top stands up onto the chair using only her legs and then sits back down without allowing the chair to fall or even hardly move.
Again, the performance itself is amazing but the part that really blows you away is the fact that the one on the top is Delilah Wallenda who is 63 years old! Mind boggling given that most people even a third of her age couldn’t possibly do anything even close to what she does right now.
That’s when I started thinking about other amazing things performed by people in their “golden years.”
Like the famous father of fitness, Jack Lalanne, who at age 70 towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, 1 mile from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, while handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents. Wow!
Or how about local man Gus Andreone who at the ripe old age of 103 shot a hole in one at Palm Aire Golf and Country Club last December.
These examples are certainly NOT the norm. But why?
Is it because these people have some sort of genetic gift or special God given blessing that is only bestowed upon them and few others? Or is it because the choices they have made have been different than the choices made by most?
The choice of whether to exercise or be sedentary.
The choice of whether to eat healthy or poorly.
The choice of whether to think and believe that they can be fit, strong and healthy all their life or to believe that once they reach a certain age “its all downhill.”
The choice of whether to ask for help or to struggle through on their own.
I’ve worked with hundreds of people over the years, most of them 60 and older, and I can tell you that the vast majority of the people I’ve worked with that have good health and function are ones that made many of the right choices over the long term.
What’s even more amazing to see is someone who has struggled with their health, strength or physical function in some way begin virtually hopeless and become ignited with encouragement because they start to see the breakthroughs they are looking for by making a few of the right choices even though they are “not spring chickens” anymore.
Even though you probably don’t want to walk on a high wire, I’m sure there is something about your body you want to improve so set the bar high for yourself. You’re worth it and you CAN do it!