Whilst I was watching TV recently as I ate my breakfast, I was taken aback by the sight of Charles Eugster, a retired 97-year-old dentist saying that he’d been a sickly child, a middle-aged ‘blob’, but had decided after retiring from dentistry (and then going back to work) that at the age of 85 he would take up rowing and running, as he noticed he was putting on weight, and being a tad vain still wanted to turn the heads of the ‘sexy 70-year-old girls on the beach’. I nearly choked on my granola.
This guy is truly amazing. He’s toned, fit as a fiddle and has all his marbles. His belief is that work, nutrition and fitness keep you young. And he is most definitely the proof of the pudding. At the age of 89 he realised he was losing muscle mass, so he joined a body-building club and employed the services of a personal trainer (and ex-body builder) to kick his ass into shape. Unbelievable! And he loves to try new things, which obviously keep both his mind and body in tip-top condition. To date, he’s tried swimming, running, athletics and wake boarding (amongst other things) and has more gold medals than I’ve had hot dinners from competitions from all over the world. What a guy! What an absolute inspiration!
‘What I hope to achieve is to change the world. Get a new body and start a new life,’ he said.
And I have to say, he seems to have succeeded and passed with flying colours! This man got to me. His zest for life was infectious. Now, I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I just can’t see the point, really. I mean, all I ever seem to do is make something up on the spur of the moment and then within a day of two I forget all about it. But he seemed to get into my subconscious. I started thinking about all the times I’d said I would do something, knowing that I probably never would…such as contacting long-lost Christmas card friends. We must catch up this year, blah, blah, blah. Doing some exercise…but never quite making it out of the warm hub of the house on freezing cold wintery nights. Visiting friends in need.
Soooo, Charles you have made me stick to my newest of New Year Resolutions. If I say I’m going to do something, then I actually do it… like going to watch my daughter’s fiancée playing football last week when it was absolutely Baltic. Like telling my other daughter that I would join her at her Bounce class (jumping, twisting and turning on a rebounder for half an hour in the local sports centre) and miracle of all miracles, actually turning up. Driving two and a half hours to see a friend who was going through a rough patch. Getting in touch with a friend who I haven’t seen for years and making a plan to meet up. Joining the gym! Gulp!
In all these cases it would have been so easy to say no at the last minute. It would have been such an easy cop out to just make up an excuse, simply because I couldn’t really be bothered. But he almost shamed me into giving it a go. I mean, if he can do it, why on earth can’t I, for goodness sake? And to be quite honest, once I got over my initial reluctance, I had an absolute ball! It was greaaaat! I loved it. And all it took was mind over matter – yes, it was freezing, exhausting, tiring …but the rewards really were worth the effort. It really does keep you young and active. It’s all too easy to just do nothing, but when you say yes to life, it takes on rather a magical quality…I can’t imagine body-building though, I have to say. I think that might just be a bridge too far