Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brunch with a hero

Today, I took a drive with my dad and sister to visit my dad’s cousin. My dad is 84 and his cousin is 88, and both of them look like they are 20 years younger. We met up with his cousin at a community of retired military personnel, as cousin Harold is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel with over 10,000 hours of flight time under his belt.

We had the most interesting afternoon sharing a table for Sunday brunch with three other World War II veterans who shared their experiences with us. It was an all you can eat buffet brunch with both breakfast and lunch items available. There were several hundred men and women enjoying brunch and camaraderie, and one thing that struck me about the diners was how very few of them were overweight.

My theory on why this group of people managed to avoid the American obesity problem goes back to their life in the military…staying in shape went with the career. Even decades after retiring, these men and women continued to embrace the good habits that they had while serving our country.

After brunch, Harold took us on a tour of the community, and it centered on the work-out facility and indoor swimming pool. What I neglected to mention was that the last time we visited with Harold was last year, in the hospital, when he was not expected to survive a stroke. He couldn’t walk or talk and didn’t recognize anyone.

Now, just 12 months later, he was proudly showing off the place that he works out and swims daily. He also walks faster than anyone in my family. Harold is my proof that taking care of yourself pays off in later life. He is an inspiration to keep me motivated to lose weight and keep it off. He is a superstar.

Talk to you soon.

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