It’s hell getting old, but it beats the heck out of dying young.™
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” -- Henry David Thoreau
My inspiration for FiftyFitandFine came from my Dad, who is over 70 years old, yet appears to be in his 50s. When asked, he attributes much of his youthful look to heredity. But then he acknowledges his commitment to being physically active in sports, eating right, and getting proper rest. This attention to his physical well-being gave him the capacity and stamina to function in many ways through his life: as a husband, provider, father/dad, friend, and an ordained minister.
My dad’s employment history was one that transcended the gamut from the mundane to the heavenly. I admire that he coached and taught neighborhood children while employed by the City of Philadelphia Department of Recreation, and that he managed a $2.5-million ice skating facility and established programs within it.
When he retired, people asked him, “Why are you retiring—you look so young and healthy!” His reply was, “That’s why I’m retiring.” He then started a new 18-year career building and remodeling homes.
Now however, the aging process is taking its toll on my Dad in the form of idiopathic fibrosis alveolitis (better known as pulmonary fibrosis). Yet his healthy lifestyle and devotion to God’s grace sustains him.
"Today, I am excited to have my dad still with me to see how I carry his philosophy forward. Dad has always taken the best steps to stay in the best of health, and has always been goal-oriented. He created a stable environment so his family could learn and grow. And he always said, “No matter what you do, just be the best at what you do.”
My Dad exemplifies what a man or woman in FiftyFitandFine should be. His inspiration and lifestyle was instilled in me and my siblings. His words live in me and are forever a part of my life.
I can hear him now, saying, “Live a lifestyle to help ensure that you will be here for your children, and their children, and their children.”
One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is life, and all the possibilities of life. We should teach them, and show them by example, how to live a healthy lifestyle. And in doing so, they can pass along healthy living to their children and grandchildren.
Let us live our lives to our greatest potential. Let us leave behind a legacy like my mother and father left for me and their grandchildren. Let us all live and be all that God has called us to be.
Life is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to Him.
--Written March 20, 2011 by James E. Henry, Jr.
Postscript--On May 20, 2011, our Dad, James E. Henry, Sr., went home to be with the Lord.
“I am better shape now than I was when I was in my 30s. For me, life is beginning now in my 50s. Watch out now!”