Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

I just watched a video of a “ripped grandfather” doing a work-out routine and saying that age is a state of mind. I agree. In the video, the man states that when he was in his mid-40s he realized that he probably had more years ahead of him than behind him. We get old because we accept that we are old mentally. Great point.

A patient finally got her husband to come see me. He was suffering from “old-age”. His joints hurt. He had trouble rolling over in bed. He was in his late 30’s. He needed a wake-up call. Seeing me provided that – in addition to getting his spine in alignment so that he could function better. He no longer had pain when he went to bed. He felt younger. Age was not the problem.

What about me? I am 62. Unlike so many, I have a great role model. I don’t remember it, but my mother said that I met her father when I was just a couple of months old. He died shortly after that. He was 88. Why was he a role model?

When my grandfather was 61 he married a 21-year-old. She was after him. They had six children before he died at the age of 88. His first son was born when he was 62 – my age. While many my age are thinking of retirement, I’m thinking of getting started.

The mind-over-matter part is important. I believe it is even more important than exercise and nutrition – at least in my case.

I began lifting weights at home while a youngster. I was never much of an athlete. Always last to be chosen on any team during gym. Played football in high school but did more practicing than actual playing.

In college, I went to the gym and used a machine for at least one semester. I went more to burn up my frustration with a lab, than to become stronger. I was amused one night. I got to the gym and immediately heard this guy groaning as he worked on the bench. I went to watch. He had a partner and they were both big boys. I’m not a big guy, but I dropped on the bench and silently lifted what the previous man had. I heard one whisper to the other, “If I hadn’t seen it, I would never have believed it.”

I tried doing push-ups for a while. Found that I plateaued at about 40. A couple of months before I turned 60 I tried doing push-ups again. I was surprised that I could still do about 40, after years without trying. I thought it would be fun to be able to do 60 push-ups when I turned 60. I found that I actually went backwards. Interesting. Why?

I wanted to reduce my waist. I have always bought slacks with a 32-inch waist. However, my actual measurement has never been that low. I went on a diet. I lost weight but found that my chest and waist reduced about the same amount. I still wasn’t a 32 waist and I still didn’t have the look I wanted.

It was the combination of push-ups and weight reduction that brought home my true mental state. I don’t care about being an athlete. I like to look fit and I enjoy surprising people with my strength. I decided that I would like a 10-inch drop.

Drop is an idea I got while in my teens. Drop is the chest measurement minus the waist. The average drop is 6. A man’s suit that has a 40-inch jacket will usually have about 34-inch pants. A 7-inch drop is athletic.

I set that in mind when I was 60. I have not done any exercise at a gym or push-ups or anything like that. I realized that the usual way to get there was not the demonstration I am here to make. I am watching my diet a little. Mostly not stuffing myself.

The most I have ever weighed was 180. I weighed that much in college and when I was in my 50’s. Both times I still had about a 6-inch drop. My waist expanded with my chest.

I dieted down to 156. My chest reduced with my waist. When I realized that I wasn’t getting the look I wanted. I gave up watching my weight.

A few days ago, I measured my chest – 42. With full expansion over 43. My weight is 162. Today I have my belt set at 32. I am sucking in my gut and working my abs with that effort, a practice that I’ve been doing for a while. I have weighed 162 in the past and couldn’t even suck in to a 32. I am close to my goal.

The point I’m getting out of all this was finding my truth. The truth was that I did not care about doing things the usual way. In fact, that wasn’t working well for me. I didn’t really care about how many push-ups I could do. I didn’t really care about my weight. I do enjoy looking fit. I enjoy surprising people with my strength.

I tried diet. Although I lost weight, I didn’t get the result I wanted. I tried push-ups. Within a few weeks, I wasn’t getting stronger and realized that was a false goal for me.

It was through my failure and searching for my personal truth that I have arrived at my goal.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor,” Truman Capote.

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