By Peter Delannoy
“None of us get out of here alive.”–Mike Burgener
No one knows how long they have to live and the one thing that all of us are certain of, is that we are all going to die. How do you want to use the time that you have? These are the questions that came to the forefront of my consciousness about one year ago just before I turned fifty eight years of age. Then one morning my wife, Linda, and I were sharing breakfast together and we spoke about the inevitability of growing old.
My wife challenged me to live to be 100 years old. In fact, she has raised the subject a number of times over the last several years. To put this in context I will turn 59 in about one month and my wife has just turned 62. We, like most baby boomers, are either approaching retirement, or we are already in retirement. I don’t know about you, but I intend to be active as I age but I wasn’t sure about this business of “living to be 100.” What is the reality of living to be 100 years old? I wondered.
I questioned my ability to live to be 100 years old. The years had taken a toll on my fitness and on my psyche. I was overweight with border-line high blood pressure and a heart rate in the early seventies. I have a career that has been killing me one slow, year at a time. I mean, think about it. We spend close to 50% of every twenty-four hour period at work in a job that keeps us mostly off our feet, or even if you are fortunate enough to be bipedal most of the day, the low intensity of the movement has little positive effect on our fitness.
Consider that we also sleep another six hours in the same twenty-four hour period and if you happen to be the home shopper and cooker like I am, subtract off another couple hours for domestic chores, and well, you get the picture. The only time and energy you’ve got left at the end of the day is devoted to a search for the closest couch. And after a couple decades of this lifestyle, what are you left with? Callouses on your ass from all the sitting.
Collectively, boomers are in worse shape now than our parents before us. Did you know that more of us walk with a cane than our parents did? That more of us suffer from chronic conditions and diseases like obesity and diabetes? Never mind the fact that there is a good chance that most of us will face cancer, heart disease or a neurological disorder like Alzheimer’s before the jig is up. What do we have to look forward to in our retirement if the best we can do is hobble onto a cruise ship using a walker and dragging an oxygen bottle in tow?
We manage to live longer because of medical advances but once we retire we are more likely to have health problems which limits the quality of our future years. Who wants to grow old hooked up to a ventilator in a nursing home? I don’t know about you but I want to be healthy enough to participate in life and have an active lifestyle. Which brings me to the goal of Boomer 100.
Boomer 100 will inspire you to fight back. This is a forum that will feature boomers and their extraordinary stories. We will create a critical mass of activists that choose to make their fitness and participation in life their number one priority. No subject will be left untouched: first hand accounts of fitness, adventure, diet, sex, and more. And we want you to join us. We want you to get off the couch and into the thick of it. Let our successes inspire your own successes.
The Boomer 100 pledge is simple: Say it, “I’ve had enough. It’s time to dream big! Live your dreams!”
Once you’ve taken the pledge you are ready for the next step and that’s what we can help you with. Boomer 100 will inspire you with real life accounts of baby boomers pushing the boundaries of possibility. Join us. Start today by joining a fitness program, starting a new activity, and send us your stories of success.
Feature Photo: Beth Wald
Photos: Peter Delannoy