When I think of a fit person at 80, I don’t see a muscular old man with a perfect white beard, showing his biceps and six-pack, boasting 5 percent body fat. No, these people are often gym rats, using all the pharmacological help to achieve the look, still for many the object of envy.
To be fit, one has to be sound physically, emotionally, and socially. Let’s go through my ideas of fitness.
In my eighties, I don’t want to bench press my weight. I want to pick up my 4-year-old grandson from the ground.
I don’t want to be able to run 5 k. On the beach, want to run into the ocean and pull him out of the current.
I hope to be able to sit down on the floor, and play with toy trucks with him. And then get up with my own power.
I want to be able to tolerate the ups and downs of life, and live my life with only minimal drama. And stoically accepting difficult moments, which I know will come.
I hope to meet my friends 1–2 mornings for coffee, and be able to keep a meaningful conversation. Without touching sore topics of politics and religion.
And, after all, continue to make morning coffee for my wife, so she can wake up to its refreshing smell.
I want to live as long as possible, going to sleep every night knowing I have something exciting to do the next day, not needing much help to dress, and still being able to help others.
That’s my idea of fitness.
These are my goals. Many, but not all, were influenced by Peter Attia’s Outlive, the book which should be designated as a mandatory reading in college. It’s like a user manual to the life which was given us by our parents.
More to come.