This I Believe

Dale - Princeton, Kentucky
Entered on November 19, 2008
Age Group: 65+
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I believe that many people judge their age by the number of birthdays that they have had. They, therefore, think that they are old long before the time that they actually are, and thus are bluffed out of many productive years and numerous positive endeavors that they could be doing for themselves and for others as well.

There is a person with whom I am acquainted who defies this illogical way of assessing and evaluating age. At a very early age, as a student in a one-room country school, while taking a hygiene class, he became interested in having good health and looking forward to productive, healthful years ahead. Ever since, he has looked forward to birthdays and anticipating what positive things that they would bring.

Now, as an octogenarian, he still has the same philosophy about ageing. He knows now the same as he thought as a young boy that good health is a basic ingredient of long fruitful years. Enjoying his still productive years, he practices a rigid diet and exercise. He wisely chooses his kind and quantity of food, carefully supplementing with vitamins and minerals. He continues to shun alcohol and tobacco products of all kinds. He is on no prescribed medication.

This National Teacher Hall of Fame member is still teaching full-time in high school, and has not missed a day in over ten years. Each summer he furthers his education in some kind of a study program, having gone to twenty-six colleges and universities for seminars, workshops, etc. When asked as to when he is going to retire, he replied, “I probably will not retire until I start getting old.”

Arising early in the mornings, he goes through an in-house exercise routine. After that he does a three-mile jog before getting ready to go to his daily job. Each year he participates in several competitive runs and race walks.

One great motivation of this individual for ageing positively and maintaining good health is his desire to be able to keep on being a regular blood donor as he continues his 25-gallon plus record; he is a member of the Baxter Donor Hall of Fame.

The ageing philosophy of this man is not to dread but to welcome each new birthday, feeling that it will be a portal to fulfilling activities and a continuation of the tried and true ones of the past.

Who is this person who has learned to welcome birthdays and not to dread them as occurrences to bog down his living and make him feel too prematurely old? Who is this man who has such a positive outlook relative to birthdays, and refuses to act old just because of them? How old is he? His birthdays say he is eighty-two years old, but his body and mind give a different answer. Who is this man? Modestly, and with a sincere desire to inspire others, let me say, “I AM THIS MAN”.