Age is more than just a number. Age is Action Generating Emergence.
Emergence: "the process of becoming visible after being concealed" as defined by the English Oxford Living Dictionary.
What does a world record powerlifter, a court management analyst, and the cofounder of the Human Performance Institute have in common? Let me introduce them to you first.
Mr. David Ricks. 58 years old.
A few weeks ago, my friend and deadlift Florida state record holder Payal Ghosh flew in from Minnesota into Fort Lauderdale. Payal has a way of getting me out of my comfort zone and this time she brought me to a local powerlifting gym. As we were warming up, an older gentleman walked in with his business attire on, smile, and went to the restroom to change.
Payal looked at me and mouthed, “Do you know who that is?!” I shrugged, “nope.” Later that evening, after filming the gentleman squatting 607 for five repetitions, I learned he was David “Dave” Ricks, a current 8 time World Record Holder, National Power Lifting judge, International Power Lifting Association Hall of Fame Inductee, retired Naval officer, current engineer, and husband.
He spent over an hour talking to us about life, inspiring others, setting goals, taking action. He was so humble and kept saying, “I’m just an old guy. But age is just a number.” He talked about incremental progression, consistency, and focus.
At 58 years old, Mr. Ricks squats over 800 pounds.
On a parting note, Dave said to us,
"You are an iceberg, and just the top of your potential is showing."
Mrs. Lee Anne Fuller. 59 years old.
I met Lee Anne about four years ago. She is a dear friend and considered my adopted mother, from Northern Virginia. Two years ago, around this time, she committed to doing a 5K for her new years resolution. I remember her husband pulling me aside and saying, “Vargo, she’s said this for the past six years and hasn’t done it.” This time though, it did feel different.
She proclaimed her decision out loud to a group of us, she downloaded a couch to 5K app on her phone, she sent daily pictures of her progress to our group of friends. She was consistent, she was taking action, and she set a realistic goal. Now here we are two years later and she literally has twenty plus metals from the races she has competed throughout the the past two years. And her journey just began at 56.
Lee Anne lives by the mottos,
"One Day at a Time" and "A Fuller Life."
Mr. Jack Groppel. 65 years old.
Two years ago, at the National Press Club I heard Jack speak at the 2016 National Physical Activity Guidelines press conference. A year later we reconnected on Capital Hill at a physical activity advocacy event sponsored by the American Council on Exercise and Johnson & Johnson. A former tennis professional, Jack had taken his passion for fitness and wellness and co-founded the Human Performance Institute, which was eventually bought by Johnson & Johnson.
Despite Jack's amazing professional accomplishments, the one that inspires me the most to this day is his recent summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro with his 12 year old son. Mind you, at the time of the summit Jack was 65 years old and had previously undergone a double knee replacement.
Jack constantly reminds me of the power of action and to continue to take steps towards my goals, no matter how small they may seem. And come to think of it, his summit was a series of steps from the base to the top.
To read more about Jack's climb, check out Jack's article: What I learned about resiliency and life from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The New AGE.
So what do these three individuals have in common? The New AGE: Action Generating Emergence. For their age, did not stop them from setting, pursuing, and accomplishing a goal.
I thought about their age, in years. All of them over 50 years old and all of them setting some pretty astonishing physical fitness goals. This is what led me to define the new AGE: action generates emergence.
Their age brought about their emergence.
The three of them did not let what society tells us about aging to get in the way of them setting out to accomplish a goal and take action. I am not saying you have to squat 800 lbs, run over 20 races in two years, or go to Africa to climb a mountain. What I am saying, is that you have an opportunity in front of you to make the most of your life right now, one day at a time.
Whatever age you are, you too can be the new AGE.