When I was sixty-two, life was great. I found myself retired after three careers, raising two children and having a wonderful marriage. In retirement, I wanted to do something that interested and fulfilled me and would fit into our lifestyle. I tried various avenues, but nothing really excited me.
During this process, I experienced a debilitating back injury. It was a humbling experience to lose my fitness and experience an accelerated ageing process. This really depressed me, in fact it frightened me. It was at that moment I realised I was not middle aged anymore. I was prematurely starting my old age.
I really hated getting old.
I decided to fight it. Therefore, I set out on a mission to rejuvenate myself.
I combined my three career experiences in business, sport and academia. I researched, planned and trained to regain my health and prepare myself for future problems that will certainly arise a result of getting older.
In May 2012 at sixty-four, celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary I realised I had done it. I had rejuvenated myself, I had lost years and I rehabilitated my physical issues so I could live an active lifestyle.
In coming to this realisation, I felt I had developed a personal formula to deal with ageing.
I also realised that there were other challenges of ageing that lay ahead. This is what I wanted to do. I wanted to fight the ageing process. I thought if I felt this way, then there must be others. So, there must be a business opportunity in this area.
What had I done to regain my vigour?
My goal was to rejuvenate myself so I could do the things I enjoyed: play golf, play ice hockey, trek and move without restrictive pain.
I approached my ageing issues as if I was training as an elite athlete, and I know what that entails because I was an elite athlete.
I researched as if I was writing a thesis, and I know what that entails because I earned a master’s degree. I wrote a plan to succeed based on my research, and I know what that entails because I have written hundreds of business plans in my career. Then I executed my plan and achieved my goal.
This realisation motivated me to build a business around my own fears about the issues of ageing. It’s called Wellbridge Financial. This would give me something to do in my retirement that would interest me and fulfil me.
Following my own business plan would keep me young in mind and body and improve my quality of life. This would allow me to enjoy life to its fullest as a partner to my wife and a confidant and support to my children and their children. I could use my experiences to enhance the business model and use my research ability to keep up to date in new advances and theories in ageing.
Since then I have been studying ageing as a very interested participant in the process. Most of my days have been involved in understanding and dealing with ageing. I have set up an investment business that invests into health-related investments.
I have become a director of organisations where ageing and wellness have been my responsibility. I plan my days, so I eat healthy, I exercise regularly, and I get lots of sleep to rejuvenate myself. But the fact remains that I continue to age and today as I write this I am 70.
So, with my boastful statement that I will be the ageing poster boy, I realise that either my external or my internal environment can throw a huge curve ball at me and derail this endeavour.
In 2016 this DERAILER hit me by the form of a serious bacterial infection that went into my heart and if I had not been so serious about my fitness, I would not be here today. The doctors tell me it was my fitness level that saved me. Therefore, it was my first ageing and disabling event that has motivated me to challenge ‘The Grim Reaper’. The fact is, if I had not been motivated to my fitness in the past, the Grim Reaper would have already won!
I am convinced that no matter how old YOU are today, by following some basic principles YOU can slow ageing and regain some years, and the more time YOU spend at these basics, the more impact YOU will have on slowing down the ageing process.