July 23, 2024

#1 An Introduction…

If you’re reading this, you are a living, breathing human.  As humans we’re born, we live, we age and then we die…all of us…

…on some particular, unknown day in the future we will all meet our inevitable end.  So with a tip of the hat to that grim reality, we must also acknowledge that there are numerous factors that determine just when our number might come up.  Things like geography, heredity, and socio-economic factors all play a big part in our longevity story.

And sadly, there exists the unforeseen tragedy that can end a life prematurely…things like getting hit by a bus, or choking on a chicken bone, or any one of about 8 million other crazy/horrible ways to die. Could some unforeseen calamity happen to any one of us, no matter how healthily we may live?  Of course, and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a family member in some sort of abrupt, heart-wrenching manner.  While those awful blindsides in life can’t be ignored, let’s play along with the current statistical average that we’re going to live out a lifespan of about 79 years.

So let’s check off that we know to be true so far:

✔️ We are human and one day, in the future, we are going to die.

✔️ Many factors contribute to our potential lifespan.

✔️ Tragedy can strike and take a life before its “natural” end.

Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you (like me) wish to have as many days of robust health as possible until that inescapable expiration date. With that final agreement, we arrive at the considerably more cheerful premise of this column…how to be mindful of our longevity and put in the practice of maximizing our shelf life, or said another way, how to “keep death at a respectable distance.”

We live our day-to-day lives making lifestyle choices that either add to our longevity or subtract from it.  While no single act is likely to make us or break us immediately in the moment, the compound effect of small daily actions repeated over time certainly can.  We’re talking about habits of course, and the reality is that “little things” matter.  Simply put, the decisions we make every day have the potential to add more years to our life and, even more importantly if you ask me, more life to our years

…or not.

In my opinion, of the many factors that make up the longevity pie, personal lifestyle choices are arguably the largest slice.  So that’s what we’re going to be talking about here.  

Now please know that I’m the last person to get “preachy” on health.  People will live their lives however they see fit and I’m totally cool with that.  I’m just here because I’ve learned a lot in the last 22 years that I want to share.  Things that you might not have known about that can increase the quality and longevity of your life…if you’re into that kinda thing.

My friend, Eli Sports Top Dog Paul Beattie, and I have been kicking this idea around for quite some time now.  In our discussion, he asked me to come at it from an angle that “every man” and “every woman” of a certain “well-seasoned” age could appreciate.  To that I say PERFECT…you are my people!

I’m currently clocking in at 57 years old and have committed the last 22 years of my life to the consciousness of “healthy living.”  As of this writing, I’ve been able to maintain my ideal body weight over those 22 years and currently have no aches, pains, illnesses or disabilities that prevent or slow me from living a very active lifestyle (knocking on wood AND praising God!)

But it wasn’t always that way…

My line in the sand came in my early 30’s.  I’d never given any serious thought to my health and certainly didn’t have any kind of “philosophy” about longevity or healthier living.  But now, with the privilege of time, I can look back and connect the dots, to clearly see that my lack of consciousness in this area was manifesting in my physical health.   At that time, I weighed in at an all time high of 225.  I felt very sluggish and low on energy, but worst of all, I was very toxic inside.  Literally, out of every calendar month, I could count on being “flat on my back sick” for at least 4-5 days…never knowing when it would just “come over me,” I was living a life of vacations cut short, plans abruptly canceled and emergency room IV drips.  My symptoms ran the gamut from excruciating stomach/intestinal cramps, pounding migraine headaches, Dumb and Dumber-like diarrhea (you know the scene I’m talking about,) dehydration, and wildly fluctuating body temperature, just to name a few…something was very obviously NOT RIGHT with me.

Remember that 79-year life expectancy?  Shoooooot…I didn’t think I was gonna make 40!  I had a wife and two young daughters that I needed to be well for, not to mention the fact that these symptoms freaking SUCKED.  Needless to say, I needed to change some stuff.

What did I need to do (or not do) to NOT feel this way anymore? 

Well, those are exactly the “little things” I’ll be sharing with you each week right here on the Eli Network.  My hope is that some of the practical things I’ve discovered on my longevity journey can be of benefit to you as well.  I’m not a doctor or guru, nor do I carry any special degrees or certifications (except for that trusty B.A. I earned from The Evergreen State College…whoomp whoomp!)  Nah, I’m just a regular guy like you that’s found a handful of things that have really worked for me and I’m excited to share.

If you read something that you like, try it out, and if it works for you, KEEP DOING IT!  If not, that’s okay too…you decide.  Your future self will thank you later.  So I invite you along for the ride.  My promise is this;  we’ll have some fun, we’ll discover some cool, new stuff, and together we’ll make a go of “keeping death at a respectable distance.”