It was an icy cold April morning in Orlando. In fact, it was yesterday morning. I don’t know how low the temperature was but it must have been around 70 degrees. I was up early because after months of preparation, I finally set the alarm clock and was planning to take a walk around the block.
Mostly I sit at home at a desk and a computer and write advertising copy disguised as blog posts. You can make amazing money working from home but that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about the amazing thing that happened yesterday.
As I was walking towards the mailbox I felt a rush of nervous energy and anticipation because I knew I was about to take on the toughest physical challenge of my life.
After making it to the end of the driveway, I found myself a nice little spot kind of away from where the dog usually does his business, where I could do some stretches and warm up my legs a little. As I was stretching I glanced over my left shoulder. Or it may have been my right shoulder. Some details I remember so well and others, not so well. But I saw a man arching his back and pointing his chest towards the sky.
He was a lot shorter than me and a bit more weathered but we struck up a conversation and amazingly after a few minutes of chatting I found out that I was actually talking to a man in his mid-50s.
I remember our conversation like it was yesterday.
He was soft spoken and he was brimming with energy. He told me that he just turned 55 years old and that he exercised. Every morning. And that HE was about to walk around the block. Not just walk around it, but run around it. Well maybe a combination of walking and running.
I was in awe.
I was 25 years old, in fact I still am, and here I was talking to someone more than double my age who was about to put his body through more pain and more stress than I could possibly imagine.
I was truly dumbstruck.
Here I was, trying desperately to find a way to cope with the stress of writing ad copy free of grammatical and getting fatter every day and here this incredibly old guy was in amazing shape and running around the block to boot.
What’s your secret I asked him?
He looked at me puzzled. You talk funny, he said.
While he slowly raised his hand over his head and bent to the side to stretch his hip, he told me that a long time ago he discovered that eating a certain combination of foods helped give him a significant boost of energy.
I was skeptical.
But I looked again at this 55 year old man who was getting ready to exercise, and my disbelief slowly faded.
What? Can you say that again? I asked him.
He said what, are you fucking deaf, I’m supposed to be the old guy here,
and then he told me that years ago he discovered that when he ate a combination of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, stayed away from sugars and fats, and got regular exercise his energy levels dramatically increased.
He didn’t know why, or how, he just knew that he felt great and that now he never went a day without working out and eating this magic combination of “vegetables” and other superfoods.
I can still remember his face and how his eyes lit up when he was telling me this.
Is it possible that eating healthy food and getting exercise could help give a guy in his 50s enough energy to go outside and run?
After a few more stretches and general chit chat he took off. But I needed more answers so it was time to go back inside to sit in front of my computer do some research.
After getting distracted by a few Buzzfeed quizzes (it turns out I’m Smaug!) and some porn that came up by accident and some proofreading tips that I’ll get to someday I plowed through hundreds of websites, research papers and medial journals I found something really surprising about diet and exercise and that’s what I want to share right after I catch up on the sleep I missed…